Home > Educators > Financial Aid Information

Financial Aid Information

The financial aid application process is not easy to navigate, even for seasoned counselors, and constantly undergoes changes that further complicates it. Come financial aid application time, many students are confused and concerned with the basics, much less how much funding they can receive. Students should know they have options when it comes to finding the funding they need to pay for college and shouldn’t rely on one source of funding when applying for financial aid.

We have prepared a number of resources to help guide students through the financial aid process, as it will be simpler with more resources readily available. Browse through our site to find tips and financial aid information for educators and how to introduce students to financial aid. Debunk any and all myths that paying for college is out of students’ reach.

College Funding Guide for Students

Finding ways for students to pay for college can become overwhelming, as there are many options out there – from federal funding options to what a student’s college can offer to the less traditional avenues of outside funding sources and balancing a job and academics. An important part of a counselor’s job is helping students understand their options. Rather than focusing on one source of funding over another, students should be exposed to various types of funding. Students worried about their parents’ low income will probably qualify for a number of federal grants. Students worried about their less-than-stellar academic record when it comes to landing a college scholarship should know there are scholarships that do not look at grades, GPA and standardized test scores. Finding college funding is important, but it’s also important that students know the available choices - ones that cater to them individually.

Federal Aid

Federal aid will always be an importance piece of a student’s financial aid package and applications may be intimidating for students who aren’t familiar with applications that require things such as their parents’ income and savings. For those students – or parents who need help completing their first Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, high school counselors and/or intended college’s financial aid officers will serve excellent resources. It is crucial to fill out FAFSA applications as soon as it is available (January 1st of each year) and following the directions carefully so that there won’t be any delays in the application process. Many colleges dole out federal funding on a first-come, first-serve basis until it’s gone. As funding levels may change annually, it’s important for students to be aware of the deadlines.

Student Loans

While the ideal financial aid package would include no student loans, the reality is that most college students will need to take out some student loans to complete their college degrees. An important task for counselors and educators is making sure students understand that they should strive to reduce debt as much as possible when leaving their respective colleges, and to propose ways in preventing debt burden from escalating. Educating students about the different loans available and the most desirable loan options available will go a long way in helping students make smart decisions in funding their future.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Silver Linings - Transfer Students May Have Higher Acceptance Rates

September 29, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Because of lower enrollment rates, transfer students can stand to benefit from colleges who are eager to hit their yearly enrollment goals. Schools with a smaller-than-average student body this year may be more receptive to accepting a greater number of transfer students than in previous years. [...]

Michigan Offers Free Community College Education to Essential Workers

September 24, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

The state of Michigan is set to offer two years of free community college to essential workers who were required by their job to leave the house and work at least 11 weeks in the spring during the coronavirus pandemic. This unique opportunity, called Futures for Frontliners, opens doors to essential workers who are not commonly considered front-line workers and an estimated 600,000 residents could qualify. [...]

Colleges Waiving SAT and ACT Requirements for Merit Scholarships

September 22, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Many colleges have waived SAT and ACT score requirements for high school seniors currently applying to college due to how difficult it has been to sign up for standardized testing during the coronavirus pandemic. Now some colleges are also waiving standardized test score requirements when awarding merit scholarships to incoming students. Instead of requiring SAT and ACT scores, these schools will award scholarships based on high school GPA. [...]

Last Reviewed: October 2020