Financial aid refers to specific borrowed, given or earned money that can be obtained from various sources to pay for college. There are many types of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, Federal Work-Study programs, and loans, all of which can come from the state or federal government.
Colleges also offer financial assistance to their students. The financial aid office on campus is the best place to find out about financial aid (those listed above, plus internships and cooperative education) available at that particular college.
Many agencies, associations, and organizations (for example, corporations, civic, religious, and philanthropic groups, and associations connected with your field of interest) provide dollars for college students. There are different eligibility requirements, award amounts, application forms, and application deadlines for each type of financial aid, so research these carefully. Some scholarships may require the applicant to have the special skills to write an essay, build a model, or even audition. To aid in your search, College Zone and IllinoisMentor provide links to several scholarship search services. As you're searching, be alert to financial aid scams.
Make sure to reapply for financial aid every year.
Use the State & Federal Aid Estimator to determine how much financial aid might be available to help you pay for college. Keep in mind, calculator results are based on estimates and may not reflect your actual awards.