Financial Aid 101

Financial Aid 101

Financial Aid 101

February 21, 2014

Having a horrible time trying to figure out what that FAFSA result can mean? I am here to help!

Financial Aid can come in many shapes and forms, and is often broken into two different categories: the free money and not free money. Hopefully these descriptions will help you in your financial aid journey!

Grants: A grant is a sum of money provided by the government, local authority, or public fund to finance education. Basically, a grant is free money given to students who qualify and complete the FAFSA by a deadline. In Missouri this deadline has consistently been April 1st; so for full consideration make sure that you complete the FAFSA on time.

Work Study: Work study is a need based form of financial aid. Work study is essentially a part-time job that a student can have while enrolled in college.

Loans: The “boogeyman” of the financial aid world, student loans can be useful in paying for college. If taken sensibly, not borrowing more than you need for the given semester or year and well planned for, they can be a reasonable source of financial aid. The following are the most common sources of student loan

  • Stafford Direct Unsubsidized Loan: This is the most common form of federal direct loans. The unsubsidized loan has a variable interest rate that is subject to change every year. Unsubsidized loans, unlike subsidized loans, will accrue interest on the principle while you are still in school.
  • Stafford Direct Subsidized Loan: Subsidized loans just like unsubsidized loans have a variable interest rate that is subject to change each year. Since these loans do not accrue interest while you are still in school, they are the more preferable of the two types of loans.

Hopefully these definitions have answered a few of your questions about financial aid. If you need more information, our Financial Aid Office has a number of resources to help answer your questions.

Please come back next time for more fun times and financial aid!

Colton Richardson is a 2013 graduate of Truman State University and has been an admissions counselor since 2013. Colton is a traveling counselor, traveling Southeast and East Central Missouri.

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