Do you need financial aid to fund your college study? If you need it, do you know what type of financial aids you can look for? Most students will search for scholarships first before they look for other alternatives while other students may just realize a few of them, making them miss the other opportunities to get money to fund their education. Let’s explore the type of financial aids available for college students so that you have a better idea on what to look for.
There are many types of financial support given out by various organizations, universities and colleges, either private or government bodies to college and universities students. While a few of them are free money which do not to be paid back, others financial aids are offered to the students in a form of loans that need to be repaid after the students complete their study.
In general, financial aids for students can be categorized into 4 groups:
Group 1: Gifted aids – Grant, Fellowship and Scholarship
Most students know what scholarship is. But many are confused with grant and fellowship. What are the differences between these three and how you can qualify for any of them?
In fact, both scholarship and fellowship are sub-group of grant. Grant is the gifted financial aids that provide to the students without the need to be paid back. In some extend, fellowship is the same with scholarship which is the free money given to students for funding their education. Most often, fellowship refers to a fund awarded to graduate students at universities or colleges. Whereas, scholarships are awards at degree or certification levels based on merit or academic achievement. Since, they are gifted free money, many students are competing to win them and you need to outperform other competitors in order to secure one. Hence, when you apply for these grants, make sure you are qualified to apply and meet the application requirements, else you application may not even get reviewed.
Group 2: Student loans
Most often, students who fail to secure any grant will turn to apply for student loan if they really need a financial aid for their study. Student loans need to be paid back. But, you should aware that there are student loans being offered with zero interest by charities and associations. If you need to apply for a student loan, you may want to give first priority to the loans with zero interest, so that you just need to pay back the amount you have borrowed. Other than the zero-interest loan, some student loan may offers in partial scholarship form. It allows you to pay back only a certain percentage of the loan amount if you achieve excellent result in academic or merit.
Group 3: Work study
Most colleges and universities offer jobs to their students so the students can earn money to fund their education cost. This is a type of financial aid program to enable students to work at the college or university where they study and earn the money to support the tuition fee and part of their living expenses. Because of the vacancies are limited, you need to apply it early. There are not many requirements you need to fulfil in order to qualify for the work study as long as you show to the school you need the job to get the money to fund your education.
Group 4: Waiver
Under some special circumstances, schools may allow the students to attend their degree program without the need to pay for tuition fee and other related costs. This is a special financial aid program that enables students to attend the degree program for free, but it has rather strict eligibility requirements that you need to fulfil if you want to qualify for it.
You are not limited to scholarships and student loan to get a financial aid for your study, there are more than two types of financial aids you can look for. Hopefully, you have understood them and make sure you don’t miss the opportunities for the type of financial aids you are qualified for.