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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS

The following programs are supported by the Federal Government and are available at almost any accredited college or university. These programs are administered by the OFFICE OF FINANCIAL AID at the college, and you should apply directly to that office. Eligibility for most Federal Student Aid Programs is based on financial need.

NOTE: As of the date of printing, these programs have been updated. However, changes may occur during the upcoming academic year.

There are three types of Federal Financial Aid available - but, you must first apply to be eligible. Begin early by completing the FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online, as soon as possible after October 1, at:

www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa or by contacting your school counselor.

THE THREE TYPES OF FINANCIAL STUDENT AID

GRANTS are financial aid that students don't have to repay. LOANS are borrowed money that students must repay with interest. WORK-STUDY lets students work and earn money to help pay for school.

Undergraduates may receive all three types of financial aid. Not all schools participate in the Federal Student Aid Programs or take part in all the programs. To find out which programs (if any) are available, contact the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will generate a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a result of information provided in your FAFSA application. The U.S. Department of Education will send you your SAR, which you should review carefully to make sure it is correct and complete. Your complete and correct SAR will contain your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - the number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility. If additional information is requested, be sure to respond by any deadlines or you might not receive federal aid.

You cannot receive Federal Student Aid unless all your information is complete and accurate. Get free help from your high school counselor, the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend, or the U.S. Department of Education at www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/ or 1-800-433-3243. Free help is available any time during the application process. You should never pay for help.

The fastest way to complete your FAFSA is online. A paper FAFSA is available from the Federal Student Aid Information Center (800-433-3243), from your local library, high school, college or career school; or it can be completed online or downloaded at www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa or ordered at www.ed.gov/edpubs. Whether you apply online or by paper, your data will be sent electronically to the schools you listed on your FAFSA.

Contact the financial aid officer at the school you are interested in attending and ask if you also should fill out any state financial aid forms in addition to the FAFSA. They will review your SAR and prepare a letter outlining the amount of aid (from all sources) that their school will be able to offer you.

If you are eligible for federal student financial aid, each school will send you an award letter. The award letter tells you the types of financial aid they will offer and how much you will receive. This combination of aid is your financial aid package.

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