Student Financial Aid: How Student Financial Aid Works?

Student Financial Aid is the financial help students in college get to cover their educational expenses, including tuition fees, room and board, books, transportation, and supplies. Financial aid usually comes from various sources which do not include family assistance personal earnings or savings.

Student Financial Aid: How Student Financial Aid Works?

The sources of financial aid come from range from federal and state agencies, community organizations, corporations, and foundations to colleges and high schools.

As earlier said, financial aid is used to cover the expenses of schooling which most students cannot afford.

The amount of financial aid you receive largely depends on the set down rules made by the various financial aid sources, including federal and state university guidelines.

Financial aid can come from work-study jobs, scholarships, grants, and federal and private loans. Keep reading to find out how student financial aid works.

How Student Financial Aid Works

As a student needing financial aid, it is important to start planning early as it is never too early to start.

If you are an aspiring student, you should ask your high school counselor about the available aids in your local and state organizations which include scholarships and grants that can help you.

Doing the above will open you up to scholarships and grants even while you are still in high school. However, you may have to declare the outside aid you have received when you get to college.

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid comes in several ways and types, you can receive financial aid in the form of a scholarship while another student may receive it in the form of a loan. Below are some of the types of financial aid:


A grant is a form of financial aid that is given to students to help cover their financial needs while in school (college or career schools).

The amount of money received as the grant is not usually repaid. It can otherwise be called free; examples of the federal grants available include the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and others.


A scholarship is a form of financial aid given to students to help cover their financial needs while in college or career schools.

This type of financial aid is free because it is given based on academic merit, achievement, and student performance.

Scholarships make a huge difference in helping to manage schooling expenses and are an important type of financial aid.

Work-Study Jobs

Financial aid can also come in the area of a work-study program which allows students to earn money to pay for their schooling expenses.

Students with work jobs earn at least the current federal minimum wage and can proceed to earn more depending on the type of work they do.

Another factor that influences students’ earnings is the skills required for the job. However, getting financial aid in the form of work-study jobs depends on some factors.

Some of the factors include when you apply, your level of financial need, and your school’s funding level.


Financial aid can also come in the form of loans. Loans are the amount of money provided to students that they have to pay back with interest.

Receiving such loans means the student has borrowed money to attend career school or college. If you fall under this category, it is important to understand the repayment options properly.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

There are several ways to get financial aid, you can follow the tips listed below:

  • You can apply for free with FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • You can apply with your college
  • You can apply from your high school counselor


Can I Apply for Financial Aid Even When I am Not Eligible?

Yes, you can apply for financial aid without being eligible. This is because most families mistakenly believe they do not qualify and end up preventing themselves from receiving financial aid.

Additionally, other sources of financial aid don’t need eligibility. Some loans are available for application regardless.

The FAFSA form is also free. Therefore, there is no reason not to apply, irrespective of eligibility; you may just be lucky.

Do I Have to Apply for Financial Aid Every Year?

Yes, you have to apply for financial aid every year this is because most financial aid offices require that you apply for financial aid every year.

After your first-year application, you will receive a renewal application which allows you to renew your financial aid package.

One factor that influences whether you can renew your financial aid for subsequent years is if you make satisfactory academic progress such as earning more credits and reaching a minimum GPA.

If I Get Financial Aid Outside, Must I Report it to the Financial Aid Office?

Yes, if you received any form of financial aid from an outside source you are obligated to report it to the financial aid office.

the result of reporting it to the financial office is not always pleasant because your financial aid will be adjusted however the outside scholarship will provide other benefits.

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