Financial Aid Information
Financial aid programs help pay the costs of education after high school. If students want to continue their education, but aren’t sure they can afford it, they should apply for financial aid. Eligibility for most of this aid is determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Grants, Scholarships, Student Employment and Loans
Scholarships are awards that do not need to be paid back and are often called “gift aid.” Grants and scholarships may be based on financial need or on a student’s merit or special talents.
Student employment is money that students work for as part of their financial aid. College Work-Study is an example. Loans are money that you borrow for your education and are considered a type of financial aid. Most loans will have to be paid back with interest.
Aid Offered by the State
The State of Indiana offers a variety of need-based financial aid grants for Indiana residents at eligible Indiana colleges. For more information click here.
Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program is the state’s premier college scholarship and preparation program for low-income Hoosier students. Students who fulfill the Scholar Pledge are provided up to four years of paid tuition at an eligible Indiana college or university. Scholars also receive a variety of support services designed to help them succeed in school and complete college. For more information on requirements, visit their website.
Aid Offered by the Federal Government
Federal government and college determine eligibility
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients. Your college determines your eligibility.
Provides a part-time job if you have financial need. The government pays part of your salary; the employer pays the rest. The college determines your eligibility.
Perkins Student Loan
The college determines eligibility. Interest and repayment begin after separation from school.
Stafford, Ford, and PLUS Loan Programs
Issued through the college or a lender. Eligibility determines if the interest and/or the principal is deferred.
Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Credit
Federal income tax credits for college.
Commonly Asked Questions about Financial Aid
What is the FAFSA?
FAFSA stands for Free Application For Federal Student Aid. It is the form used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid including grants, loans, and work-study.
When can I apply?
You can begin filling out your FAFSA starting October 1 of the year before your senior year. Priority is given to early filers and some forms of financial aid are on a first come, first serve basis.
Where can I go for help with financial aid?
The financial aid office at the college that interests you or your guidance counselor are great resources. Another source of information is INvestED, a free resource for students and parents looking for help with college planning and financial aid. They have a financial aid helpline you can call at 317.715.9007 or email Outreach@investedindiana.org. You can also view many resources related to financial aid at their website.
When do I file the FAFSA?
The Priority Deadline date for the FAFSA is April 15.
Be sure to apply as soon as possible starting October 1 of your junior year (or the year prior to when you plan to enroll in a college, university, or other school). You can apply for financial aid after April 15, but you will not be considered for State of Indiana financial aid programs.
We don’t have our tax forms completed yet; should we wait to file the FAFSA until we do?
Completed 1040s make completing the FAFSA easier, but it is not essential that your 1040 be completed. You are allowed to use estimated information on the FAFSA. If you use estimated information, you will be asked to verify that information later. To ensure you meet the April 15 filing deadline for Indiana, use either estimated or completed 1040 tax information.
Who completes the FAFSA?
The student applicant and the parent(s) with whom the student lives fill out the FAFSA.
Goodwill Scholarships (Alumni may apply)
Named for former Goodwill CEO Jim McClelland, McClelland Scholars is a one-time scholarship for recent graduates or alumni of up to $3,000 that can be used for tuition, fees, books, housing deposit, necessary equipment, a large utility bill, child care or transportation. The intent is to help with anything that may present a barrier to pursuing educational opportunities.
Students, alumni, and parents can find more information about scholarships here.