Financial Aid

Financial aid helps students and their families by covering higher education expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and other coursework supplies, and transportation. Different types of aid are provided through various sources, such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations and corporations, to name a few. The amount of aid a student receives depends on federal, state and institutional guidelines. Then, aid is awarded based on that application, and the student has the choice to accept or reject the aid offered. The type of aid offered determines whether it will have to be repaid.

The first step is to file the application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is used by many state agencies and schools to determine college aid. Some schools – mostly private colleges – use a supplemental form called the College Scholarship Service Profile, or CSS Profile, to determine how to give out their own funds. This form is more detailed than the FAFSA and can be more time-consuming to complete.

There are two types of aid: need-based and merit-based. Need-based aid, for instance, is determined by a family’s demonstrated ability to pay for college as calculated by the FAFSA. Merit aid, on the other hand, can be awarded by an institution, college or private organization to a student for a specific talent or an athletic or academic ability. These awards aren’t based on financial need. Most students qualify for some type of student aid.

Beyond federal, state and institutional aid, there are a few other aid programs to consider that serve specific student groups, such as Peace Corps volunteer benefits and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program, known as ROTC. Students who participate in ROTC can learn and train at the same time, and some receive a scholarship that covers either tuition, fees and books, or room and board instead. There are also military benefits through which veterans, active duty service members and their dependents can pay for school, such as GI Bill benefits that cover all or some costs.

To learn more about financial aid options, click on the resources below or visit the specific sections on federal financial aid and aid available through the state of Florida.

Federal Financial Aid Resources

Florida Financial Aid Resources

General Financial Aid Resources

How to Pay for College Handout

College Board Savings Tools

Fastweb

uAspire Virtual Financial Aid Help Events 

Applying for FAFSA and college is beneficial because it is that immediate next step when you finish high school to help define your future opportunities.

Jason Oliver

FAFSA truly helps you pay for school so it’s a big thing to put off your stress.

Faith Hopkins

I believe that FAFSA helps provide a positive experience that is good for our future.

Khadija Abdul