Financial aid programs help pay the costs of education after high school. If you want to continue your education, but think you can’t afford it, you should apply for financial aid.
Kinds of financial aid
There are basically three kinds of financial aid awards.
Eligibility for most of this aid is determined by filing the FAFSA.
Grants, scholarships, student employment and loans
Scholarships are awards that do not need to be paid back and are often called “gift aid.” Grants and scholarships may be based on financial need or on a student’s merit or special talents.
Student employment is money that students work for as part of their financial aid. College Work-Study is an example. Loans are money that you borrow for your education and are considered a type of financial aid. Most loans will have to be paid back with interest.
AID OFFERED BY THE STATE OF INDIANA
Indiana-higher Education Grant & Freedom of Choice Grant These need-based financial aid grants are for Indiana residents at eligible Indiana colleges. File the FAFSA by April 15.
•Minority Teacher Scholarship
•Indiana Nursing Scholarship
•Twenty-first Century Scholarship
•Robert Byrd Honors Scholarship
•Special Education Services Scholarship
•Summer State Work-Study Program
•Child of Disabled Veteran Program
AID OFFERED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Federal government and college determine eligibility.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients. Your college determines your eligibility.
Provides a part-time job if you have financial need. The government pays part of your salary; the employer pays the rest. The college determines your eligibility.
Perkins Student Loan
The college determines eligibility. Interest and repayment begin after separation from school.
Stafford, Ford, and PLUS Loan Programs
Issued through the college or a lender. Eligibility determines if the interest and/or the principal is deferred.
Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Credit.
Federal income tax credits for college
FINANCIAL AID FAQS
Commonly Asked Questions About Financial Aid
- What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application For Federal Student Aid. It is the form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid including grants, loans, and work-study.
- When can I apply?
If you are a senior in high school, you can begin filling out your FAFSA after January 1st. Priority is given to early filers and some forms of financial aid are on a first come, first serve basis.
- Where do I find the FAFSA?
You can locate and complete your FAFSA on the Web. Doing your application online minimizes errors and automatically skips questions that are not relevant to you. You don’t have to be intimidated by all of the information that is requested. The FAFSA is easy to fill out and, in most cases, takes very little time. For assistance filling out the FAFSA, click the “Before Beginning the FAFSA” link on the FAFSA website.
- How do I apply for financial aid?
There is a standard procedure your family must follow to apply for financial aid. Notice that this process starts in early January and continues until late August. This process is separate from applying for admission to a college. It may seem complex, but if you take one step at a time, it will be easy.
- Where can I go for help?
The financial aid office at the college that interests you, your guidance counselor, and ICPAC Hotline staff can help you. They can tell you what forms to fill out and the steps to follow to get all the financial aid available to you. Follow their instructions carefully. Filling out a form wrong or turning it in late could cause you to lose money.
To apply for financial aid you will need to complete:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
You must file this form to be eligible for federal and state aid. You send the FAFSA to the Federal Student Aid Processing Center.
Institutional aid forms
Some colleges require their own forms. After completing these forms, you return them to your college’s financial aid office. Be sure to check with each college you are applying to about financial aid forms and application deadlines.
Supplemental application forms
One common type of supplemental application is the CSS Profile. This form is required by a small number of Indiana colleges.
- When do I file the FAFSA:
The Deadline for the FAFSA is April 15.
Be sure to apply as soon as possible after January 1 of your senior year (or the year when you plan to enroll in a college, university, or other school).
- We don’t have our tax forms completed yet; should we wait to file the FAFSA until we do? Completed 1040’s make completing the FAFSA easier, but it is not essential that your 1040 be completed. You are allowed to use estimated information on the FAFSA. If you use estimated information, you will be asked to verify that information later. To ensure you meet the April 15 filing deadline for Indiana, use either estimated or completed 1040 tax information.
- Who completes the FAFSA?
The student applicant and the parent(s) with whom the student lives fill out the FAFSA.
- What if my parents are divorced, separated, or have remarried?
If your parents are divorced or separated, you and the parent you live with fill out the FAFSA. If you also live with a stepparent, his or her information must be included on the FAFSA.
- What should I do after completing my forms?
Make photocopies to keep for your files. Then get a certificate of mailing from the post office when you mail your financial aid application form. This certificate verifies the mailing date and destination of your form.
Websites and External Resources
The links below are non-FCHS websites that offer helpful information about financial aid.
- What is the FAFSA?
INvestEd is a free resource for Hoosier students and parents looking for help with college planning and financial aid. INvestEd helps families understand how to fund college wisely to help minimize potential education debt. For more information click here.
Early Awareness Financial Aid Presentation
2020 Virtual Senior Parent Night Presentation-FAFSA Information with INvestEd