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Financial Aid FAQs

There are billions of dollars of financial aid available to students who need help paying for college. If you want this assistance, it's important that you determine your eligibility and apply on time.

How many college students get financial aid?

About three-quarters of full-time undergraduate college students receive some type of financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans or work-study. Approximately 45 percent of financial aid dollars awarded to undergraduates are in the form of loans, and the rest are grants, scholarships, and tax credits and deductions.

Can I afford to go to college?

Despite all the news stories about rising college prices, a college education is more affordable than most people believe. There are many colleges that provide an excellent educational experience at a price you can manage. Public college prices are much lower than you might expect.

Does applying for financial aid hurt my chances of being admitted?

Not usually. You are generally admitted based on your academic performance and the qualities you bring to the campus community. Colleges want to admit a diverse group of students and often use financial aid to achieve that goal. It is very important to apply for financial aid early in the application process, before all of a college's funds are allocated.

Do I qualify for aid even if I don't get straight A's?

It's true that many scholarships reward student performance in high school, but most government aid is based on financial need. Remember, if you do receive need-based aid, you must remain in good academic standing to renew your aid annually.

Are private colleges out of my reach?

Although the cost of college is certainly an important factor, you should not concentrate on it until later in your college-selection process. Instead, focus on finding a college that is a good fit - one that meets your academic, career and personal needs.

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