Financial Aid Information

Financial Aid is the term for getting help paying for college. This help can come from the federal government, state government, the college itself (also called institutional aid), or private scholarships.

Financial aid comes in two forms: need-based aid and merit aid. 

Need-based aid is provided when the federal government, state government and/or college have determined that a family has a need for financial assistance in order for the student to attend college (based on information they receive on your financial aid forms – FAFSA and CSS Profile). Unfortunately, financial need is not based on what a family thinks they can or cannot afford to pay!

Merit aid is provided by the college to students identified as having a special talent or academic merit (ex: high grades, recruited athlete). Used to woo students.

Helpful Websites for Financial Aid and Paying for College:

Federal Financial Aid:

Consumer Finance Protection Bureau:  



National Association for College Admissions Counseling:

College Board:

The College Solution: