Financial Aid Packages: What You Don’t Know

These are the three categories of assistance you can receive for financial aid – grants (need-based) or scholarships (merit-based), work-study at the school, and loans.

  • Some schools call grants “scholarships”, so be sure to ask the college to specify which it is, since the money you receive from a grant can vary from year to year.
  • Remember that promises of financial aid are only for freshman and may not be continued for the other three years of college. More than likely, this aid will decline. However, schools know that after freshman year, you will probably not transfer out, therefore they aren’t worried about losing you to another school.
  • Make sure that scholarships you receive from outside sources are used by schools to reduce your debt, instead of reducing grants.
  • Loans increase the cost of college, even though schools may say that they meet 100% of of financial need.
  • Dont rule out private colleges. They have huge endowments that may cover your financial need.

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