FAFSA stands for Free Application For Federal Student Aid, a division of the Federal Department of Education that helps students to pursue their dreams of college. The federal program awards student loans, grants, and work study funds every year for those students 25 and younger who are pursuing college. Students should complete the FAFSA every year to see if they may receive any assistance. Financial Aid is based on a first come first serve basis, so it is important to apply as soon as possible.
College bound students are eligible for financial aid as long as they maintain a C average while attending college as required by all institutions. Students cannot receive aid unless they are a citizen of the United States, however there are a few circumstances where one can still apply without being a citizen even though there are strict guidelines. In addition, students have to hold a valid social security card to complete the FAFSA. You also must earn a diploma or GED. Once financial aid is secured, students can only use these funds on college related expenses.
By completing the FAFSA, you can receive two main types of grants. There is the Federal Pell Grant which can award up to $5,730 for students who have a low EFC (Expected Family Contribution). There is also the Illinois Map Grant which can award up to $4,968. Students can qualify for various loans through the FAFSA as well. Remember to borrow conservatively, accepting only the amount of money you need. Loans can be a lot of help, but the more money you borrow, the more money you will have to pay back, with interest. Lastly, Federal Work-Study is another option; students can be given a job on campus to help defray their costs. With so many options there is something for everyone.
Brownstown Jr/Sr High is having a FAFSA completion day on February 11th. This is the day parents come in and fill out their section of the FAFSA from 8:00a.m. to 3:30p.m. If this time doesn't work for your parent, please call or email Mrs. Hardiek in advance for a time to meet. Good luck seniors on the next step!
by Chelsey Lange
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