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What are the Most Common Sources of Financial Aid? (page 2)

— U.S. Department of Education
Updated on Sep 18, 2014

More Information on Federal Aid

Students can get aid from more than one Federal program. For the most up-to-date information about student aid supplied by the federal government, call the Federal Student Financial Aid Information Center toll-free at the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-4FED-AID. You can also obtain a guide to federal financial aid for students, called The Student Guide, which provides an extensive and annually updated discussion of all federal student aid programs. You can obtain the Guide by writing to the following address:

Federal Student Aid Information Center P.O. Box 84 Washington, DC 20044

Or call: 1-800-4FED-AID

State Financial Assistance

States generally give financial support to public colleges and universities. This support lowers tuition for all students attending these schools. Some states also offer financial assistance directly to individual students, which can be need-based or merit-based. To find out about state aid where you live, call or write your state's higher education agency. The phone numbers and addresses of all of these agencies are listed in the last section of this handbook.

College/University Assistance

Colleges themselves provide aid to many of their students. Most of this institutional aid is in the form of scholarships or grants. Some is need-based and some is merit-based.

When your child wants financial aid information about specific schools, he or she should contact the financial aid offices of these schools and request information.

Other Types of Assistance

Other organizations, such as corporations, labor unions, professional associations, religious organizations, and credit unions, sometimes award financial aid. You can find out about the availability of such scholarships by contacting someone from the organization or by directly contacting its headquarters.

In addition, some organizations, particularly foundations, offer scholarships to minorities, women, and disabled students. To learn more about such scholarships, go to the nearest public library with a good reference section and look for directories that list such scholarships. (The names of a few books that list scholarships appear in the last section of this handbook.) College admissions offices and high school guidance counselors should also be able to provide more information about scholarships.

Help in Getting More Information

The guidance counselors at your child's high school should be able to provide information on when and how to apply for federal, state, and other types of aid. If they cannot give you this information, try a local college. Even if your child doesn't plan to attend that particular institution, financial aid officers there should have information on federal financial aid. Many colleges can also tell you about state aid and their own institutional aid.

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