State Financial Aid
For the average student, financial aid is necessary to help pay for college and in addition to federally funded financial aid, students can benefit from state financial aid. Federal financial aid is available through the US Department of Education where state financial aid is available through each individual state’s higher education assistance agency. State financial aid is most commonly received in the form of grants, scholarships and loans. Eligibility requirements, award amounts, repayment and interest terms and application deadlines for state financial aid varies from state to state.
How To Apply for State Financial Aid
One way to apply for state financial aid is to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form. Since you will want to be sure to receive as much financial aid from the federal government as possible, and the application form for that is also the FAFSA, it is important to know that the same FAFSA you file to apply for federal financial aid is forwarded by the US Department of Education to each student’s state assistance agency.
State Financial Aid: Know the FAFSA Deadline Date
Although you can file one FAFSA for both federal and state financial aid, be sure to know the deadline date for the state financial aid application since it varies according to state. Deadlines are firm so if you do not apply on time, you will not be eligible to receive state financial aid for the entire following academic year. If you file the FAFSA by March 1st then you will safely apply within the deadline for all states except Michigan.
State Financial Aid: Grants
When it comes to state financial aid, grants are optimal since they are gifts of money awarded to students that do not have to be paid back. State issued grant funds must be used for school related costs and are for state residents. Check your state’s higher education agency to find out what kind of grant programs you may be eligible for.
State Financial Aid: Scholarships
Like grants, scholarships are another form of state financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Students should exhaust all possible federal financial aid opportunities and then investigate the state financial aid options available, especially scholarships. Most state sponsored scholarships are merit-based and have a wide range of requirements and award amounts. To search for a scholarship by a specific category, such as “minority” or “women”, check out Student on the Web.
Don’t Miss Out on State Financial Aid
State financial aid is a benefit that no student can afford to ignore. File a FAFSA to maximize your chances to receive both federal and state financial aid and invest in your future by achieving your education goals.