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Point CPA

 

P.O. Box 1411 Bismarck, ND 58502-1411

 

 

July/August 2021

Financial Aid Maze

Financial Aid Maze

Wasn’t it just yesterday that your child was starting kindergarten? And now you’re preparing to pay college tuition. Take a deep breath and review some basic information about financial aid.


It Starts with the FAFSA
Start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form early. Forms will be accepted from October 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022 for the 2022-2023 school year. You can find the form on the studentaid.gov website. Information on the FAFSA is used in determining your child’s eligibility for federal, state and school financial aid. The information is shared with the colleges your child lists on the FAFSA, and each college’s financial aid office uses it to figure out how much aid your child may receive at that school.


Types of Federal Aid
Federal financial aid takes several forms. Grants, including Federal Pell grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants, are based on financial need and don’t have to be repaid. Special grants are also available to children of certain armed forces members.


Federal Work-study provides part-time employment while a student is enrolled in school. The emphasis is on employment in civic education and work related to a student’s course of study, if possible.


Loans may be offered as part of a financial aid package and must be repaid with interest. Direct subsidized loans are made to eligible undergraduate students based on need. Direct unsubsidized loans benefit eligible undergraduate, graduate and professional students and are not need based. Direct PLUS loans are made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Direct consolidation loans allow borrowers to combine all eligible federal student loans into a single loan with a single servicer.


Private loans offered by banks are also available to help pay college expenses. However, these loans are generally not as affordable as federal loans. State loan programs also offer residents money for college or professional programs. Colleges may have their own loan programs as well.


Beyond Federal Aid
Scholarships are monetary gifts based on need, academic merit, talent, or a particular area of study and don’t have to be repaid. Schools, employers, nonprofit and private organizations, religious groups, professional and social organizations and even individuals may offer scholarships to help students pay for college or career school. The U.S. Department of Labor has a free scholarship research tool at www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx


You can get more information on funding from a school’s financial aid office.


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