Bulk of students rely on financial aid for college

Sarah Brownson

In broad terms, financial aid falls into three categories at the University: grants or scholarships, work-study jobs and loans.
Typically, aid is distributed to students on a need basis, but in some circumstances, students can receive subsidies to replace their individual financial contribution if they meet the program’s requirements.
At the University, more than half of the student body pays for tuition through some form of financial aid.
In order to qualify for the aid, students need to meet citizen eligibility requirements and be admitted to the University. Also, students must be in good standing with previous student loan creditors.
For male students over the age of 18, recipients need to comply with the Selective Service registration requirements before they can receive aid.
To apply, students need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). According to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid Web site, the processing takes three weeks. Students are then notified of how much they received and scheduled for disbursement.
Financial aid is contingent on satisfactory academic progress.
Summer financial aid is also available. In order to qualify, students must complete a separate University summer application. Freshmen admitted in the fall are not eligible for summer aid before they begin classes.
Student loans, on the other hand, are lent to students either by government or private institutions. Interest rates vary and some require exit interviews. All loans must be paid back after graduation.
For scholarship eligibility, students should contact their respective colleges and major departments.
Both federal and state organizations award grants. Like scholarships, the money does not have to be repaid.
For students who opt to apply for a work-study opportunity, income generated through these jobs is not considered when financial aid is assessed.
For further information, contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at 624-1665.