Financial Aid & Scholarships

Students researching financial aid onlineWhat is financial aid?

Federal student aid is financial help for students enrolled in eligible programs at participating schools to cover school expenses (a four-year or two-year public or private educational institution, a career school or trade school), including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Most federal aid is need-based. The three most common types of aid are grants, loans and work-study.

  • Grants
    Financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Generally, grants are for undergraduate students, and the grant amount is based on need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status.
  • Loans
    Borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Both undergraduate and graduate students may borrow money. Parents may also borrow to pay education expenses for dependent undergraduate students. Maximum loan amounts depend on the student’s year in school.
  • Work-Study
    Lets you earn money while enrolled in school to help pay for educational expenses


How do you apply for federal student aid?


Can I calculate how much financial aid I’ll be eligible for?

Many schools (soon to be all due to recent legislation), will have a financial aid calculator available on their own websites. However, both the Department of Education and the Collegeboard offer a couple of reliable financial aid calculators that can give you an idea of your expected family contribution (EFC) and potential aid.



Scholarships are available from many sources, both colleges themselves and outside organizations. Within the state of Florida, Bright Futures is available for eligible students and there are many local community scholarships. For national scholarships, there are also many websites that compile lists of scholarships, both merit and need based. The best sites are completely free and allow you to create a profile that helps match you with the scholarships available through the website’s database. Feel free to check out the sites and check in with your counselor about other additional opportunities.

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