Important Financial Aid Terms to Know
Sources Expected to Pay for College: Parents’ Contribution; Student’s Contribution; Financial Aid from Federal and State Government, College, and Private Sources
Need-based Aid: Awarded if your family’s resources are determined to be insufficient to cover the cost of one year of college
Merit Aid: Often awarded based on a student's talents, skills, activities, academics, and other attributes
Gift Aid (Free $$$): Grants (usually "Need-based" aid) & Scholarships ("Merit & Need-based" aid)
Self-Help Aid (NOT Free $): Federal Work-Study & Student Loans
Financial Need: Cost of Attending College (COA) less Expected Family contributions (EFC)
Expected Family Contribution (EFC): the amount of money the college expects your family to contribute to the cost of one year of college
Unmet Financial Need: The total amount of financial aid received in your award letter is less than the amount of financial need you qualify for.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): Federal Financial Aid Form:
CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile: Financial aid form used by about 225 mostly private schools in addition to the FAFSA.
Net Price Calculator: Required to be on each college website
Net Price: Estimated cost of attending college less the estimated amount of your grants & scholarships.