Financial aid is help for eligible students to pay for educational expenses at an eligible post-secondary school (e.g., college, vocational school, graduate school). It covers expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Financial Aid can also help pay for a computer and for dependent care.
There are four categories of student aid: grants, work-study, scholarships and loans.
- Grants: financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)
- Work-Study: allows you to earn money for your education
- Scholarships: an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.
- Loans: Loans allow you to borrow money for your education. You must repay your loans, with interest.
How to Qualify for Financial Aid
It all starts with filling out the FAFSA Form, free application for Federal Student Aid. This form determines how much money families will be expected to contribute to college expenses. Colleges and universities utilized this information to set up financial aid packages to help pay for tuition and fees. Other helpful resources are:
- Comprehensive Steps to Federal Student Aid (PDF)
- Common Sources of Financial Aid
- Michigan Tuition Incentive Program