Paying for College

If you want to go to college, and are willing to work at it, you can find the money to pay for it!

So, what exactly is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money to help pay for college or technical or trade school. Financial aid can come from colleges, companies, private scholarship funds, the state of Washington, and the U.S. Department of Education. The Department of Education provides details about federal student-aid programs at www.studentaid.ed.gov. Once you get to the website click on "Get Money for College". To learn about common Financial Aid myths Click Here.

Types of Aid

There are two basic types of financial aid:

1."Gift" aid: money that does not have to be paid back (for example, grants and scholarships).
2."Self-help" aid: money that you work for or that you will need to pay back later (for example, work-study or loans).

Who is eligible for Aid?
 
Any student whose expected family contribution (EFC – the amount that the family can contribute toward the annual cost of education) is not equal to the cost of attendance at the college where he/she has been admitted is eligible for aid. An EFC estimation form can be found online at http://www.finaid.org/.


Is there a Financial Form we need to complete?
 
YES, the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) needs to be completed by the student and the parents. This form includes questions about the student’s income and assets plus the parents’ income and assets. If you want to get financial aid for college you MUST complete a FAFSA.

After January 1 of your senior year of high school, you should complete and submit your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

What if I need help filling out the FAFSA?
 
See the counselors or college and career specialists at your high school to get help with the application process. Don't be afraid to ask. The earlier you complete and submit the application, the better to chance you have to receive the amount of aid you need.

During the month of January all our high school have FAFSA events with professionals on site to answer questions and help you and your parents submit your application. Schedules for these events are published in December.

Keep in mind that the US Department of Education, colleges, and scholarship providers can only give you aid if you APPLY for it. YOU NEED TO TAKE THE ACTION!
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