College today is a standard part of The American Dream. While many families intend for their children to grow up and attend college, most of them are still confronted with sticker-shock when they reach the planning phase. Financial aid is the answer to help many students through this rite of passage. According to a 2019 Sallie Mae/Ipsos survey on How America Pays for College, for a typical family, scholarships and grants paid for 31% of postsecondary education in the 2018-2019 school year.
College financial aid helps students and their families afford the high-cost expenses associated with postsecondary education, such as:
- Tuition & fees
- Room & Board
- Books & other supplies
Of course, there are a few different types of financial aid for college. If you are a prospective student trying to figure out your college financial aid options, you have come to the right place. Read on, as we break down 4 common types of college financial aid in Connecticut and across the country.
Unlike student loans (more on that later), a grant is a type of funding that does not need to be paid back. Think of it like a gift from a generous friend that asks of nothing in return. There are many different federal grants available to prospective college students, such as the Pell Grant or the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG). The amount of money that a student can receive from a federal grant varies and is awarded based on financial need.
To apply for a federal grant or scholarship, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application and contact the college financial aid office. Click here for more information about applying for a grant or scholarship.
Just like a grant, a scholarship does not need to be repaid. There are many scholarship programs across the country. The state of Connecticut has the Roberta B. Willis Need-Merit Scholarship Program, which is awarded to a CT resident who is a high school senior or graduate with a high school junior year class rank of 20% or better and/or SAT scores of at least 1200 or ACT score of at least 25. In order to qualify for this particular scholarship, the student must attend a CT public or non-profit private college. This scholarship program pays up to $5,250 a year for full-time attendance in a 4-year program of study or up to $4,650 a year for full-time attendance in a 2-year program of study. This is just one example of scholarships available.
If you have an interest in a specific type of field, you may be able to find select, niche scholarship programs. There are several scholarships available to students across the country in the fields of nursing, manufacturing, accounting, and more. Google your area of interest with the word scholarship and you will be amazed at what you can find! Or, contact the Financial Aid Advisors at your college of choice, and they can help you find a scholarship that’s right for you.
Unlike the lovely grants and scholarships that do not require a return of payment, loans must be paid back — typically with interest. There are state, federal, and private loans available to students in need of some postsecondary education funding.
Just like grants, students must submit their FAFSA application in order to be considered for student loans. For most loans, the amount given will depend on the student’s financial need. Financial need is determined by the household income and net assets (cash, bank accounts, trusts, investments, etc.).
There are many other grants, scholarships, and loans available to Connecticut students looking for college financial aid options. You can check out the full list and more information here.
4. Work Study Options
Work-Study is a program — sometimes federally-funded, sometimes state-funded — that offers students a paycheck for part-time work at their school. This won’t cover all the costs associated with college, but it will help cover some of the bills, and can be combined with other grants, scholarships, and loans. It is also important to know that work-study programs do not directly submit payments toward your education. Students receive a paycheck — just like a regular job. But that money can go toward your college costs.
The jobs for work-study programs are typically on campus, but sometimes off-campus work is available, too. The pay and the hours can vary, depending on the job you get.
When reviewing your college financial aid options, it is important to consider the school you decide to attend. Goodwin University, for example, offers Connecticut students the lowest tuition costs among other private, nonprofit colleges in the state. And 92% of our students received financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships for the fall semester of 2019.
Our financial aid advising team is available to help you afford college courses. During the admissions process at Goodwin University, an advisor will help you explore your financial aid opportunities and design a personalized financial aid package that meets your needs. Financial aid is available for both undergraduate and graduate students.
If you would like to jumpstart your career and learn more about the types of financial aid for college, contact Goodwin University. Call 1-800-889-3282, or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.