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Financial Aid Resources for Post-High School Education (page 3)

— U.S. Department of Education
Updated on Jun 1, 2009

What Federal and State Financial Aid Programs are Available to my Child?

Grants provide financial assistance that do not have to be repaid.  Examples of federal and state grants include:

  • Pell Grant Program provides grants to low-income undergraduates.
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) Program provides grants to low-income students, and generally helps supplement the aid they receive from Pell Grants and other sources.
  • Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program provides states with grant money to provide to college students.  For more information about the LEAP Program go to:  http://www.ed.gov/programs/leap/index.html.

Loans financed by the federal government are guaranteed and designed to give your child flexible repayment options.  Exmples of federal loans include:

  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program makes loans available to students and their families through about 7,100 participating private lenders.
  • William D. Ford Director Student Loan Program uses federal treasury funds to provide loan capital directly to schools, which then disburse loan funds to students.
  • Perkins Loan Program provides low-interest loans to undergraduate and graduate/professional students who demonstrate financial needs.

Work-Study provides part-time jobs to undergraduates and graduate/professional students, either on or off their college campus.  Your child can use the earnings to finance his or her educational programs.  Options for work-study can be found on federal and college financial aid applications and websites.

Scholarships provide financial assistance to students that do not have to be repaid, similar to grants.  While scholarships are usually awarded according to merit-based achievements such as academic excellence or special talents, financial need is sometimes a large part of the award decision-making process.

Additional Government Programs

TRIO Programs provide services to low-income students, including assistance in choosing a college; tutoring; personal and financial counseling; career counseling and workplace visits.  For more information about TRIO Programs go to:  http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html or call (202)502-7600.

The Hope Scholarship Tax Credit allows students, or their parents or guardians, to claim up to $2,500 for each student for out-of-pocket tuition and fees.  The credit is available for each of the first two years of classes towards a degree or certificate from a college or vocational school.

The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit allows college students or their families to claim up to 20 percent of qualified out-of-pocket expenses associated with earning a degree per year.

Coverdell Education Savings Account is a savings account to finance the education expenses of a child or other designated beneficiary.  Contributions are limited to $2,000 per year and are not tax deductible, however funds grow tax free until withdrawn to pay college tuition.

College Based Financial Aid
Nearly 19 percent of available aid comes from colleges.  Contact the financial aid office of the college that your child wishes to attend for more information.

Private Scholarships and Grants
Organizations, foundations, businesses and other groups offer scholarships to academically promising students based on different factors.  Help your child investigate possibilities by talking to your child's school guidance counselor and visiting the local library.

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