FINANCIAL AIDWhen it comes to the matter of how to finance an education, the questions and answers are limitless. The best source of information; however, is a college financial aid officer, but scholarship files are maintained in the counseling office and Wanda R. Smith High School also sponsors a Financial Aid/Scholarship information session usually sometime in November each year.Types of Financial AidFinancial Aid is awarded from four primary sources: The Federal Government, the state government, the college or university itself, and private agencies. If you do qualify for financial aid, you will receive what is called a financial aid "package" from the college or university that has accepted you. It may contain a combination of:
- Grants or scholarships: These awards do not have to be repaid.
- Loans: These awards do have to be repaid, but usually not until you have graduated or left college. Some loans accrue interest while you are in college.
- Work study: This award involves earning money through a job, usually arranged for you by the college.
Applying for AidTo get you started on the application process, there are two important financial aid forms available. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used for ALL colleges and universities, including junior colleges. The College Scholarship Service (CSS) is used for private colleges and universities. Almost every student wishing to apply for financial aid, whether in the form of scholarship, loan, or grant must fill out the FAFSA. This form can not be filled out before January 1 of the student's senior year because it is based on the previous year tax information. Students planning to attend private school may need to fill out the CSS in addition to the FAFSA. There may be additional forms your college may want you to fill out. Check with the Financial Aid Office of your college or university for this information. Both the FAFSA an CSS Profile are available online. FAFSA is at www.fafsa.ed.gov and CSS is at www.collegeboard.com. On these applications there is a question about the four didgit code of your chosen college(s). You can look these codes up at www.collegeboard.com.Helpful Links
- Federal Student Aid
- Financial aid Estimate Form
- Fast Web - Scholarship search
- College Opportunities On Line (includes college costs)
- Educational Expenses and Financial Aid
- Minnie Piper Compendium - provides financial aid, college costs for Texas Colleges & Universities
- The Texas Tomorrow Fund