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Student financial aid comes in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships, which all assist a student in paying for a school expenses such as tuition, room and board, books and supplies, etc. Most financial aid is based on financial need as determined by information submitted in the the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Students must fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, commonly known as FAFSA, for each year they are applying for need-based financial aid. The FAFSA uses a series of questions about the student and student's parents finances to determine the family's expected family contribution to the student's financial costs. These questions include things like the family's size, income, value of assets, etc.
The results of the FAFSA, the Student Aid Report (SAR) are sent to to colleges and universities selected by the applicant, and with this information, the college or university determines the amount of aid given to a student. Payday Advance Site
Federal Student loans come in several forms, but they all tend to be subsidized and offer better rates than general purpose paydayuk loans.
Student grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid.
Unlike federal loan or grant programs, the federal work study program provides funds that students can earn through part-time employment. Students can find part-time employment with work study-eligible employers. The federal government, in turn, pays anywhere from 50-70% of the students' wages depending on the type of employment -- public service-type jobs are more heavily subsidized than private ones.
A smaller percentage of students choose to take out private loans to pay for college. In 2003-2004, 5.1% of students took out private loans to pay for public, four-year universities compared to 42.8% of students that took out federal student loans. Similarly, 11.5% of students took out private loans at private, four-year universities compared to 54.4% of students who took out federal student loans.
That said, private student loan volume has grown more rapidly (through 2008) than federal student loan volume with 25% annual growth from private loans and 8% annual growth in loan volume from federal loans. A list of applicable private lenders can be found on the FinAid.org page for Private Loans or at PrivateStudentLoans.com Comparison Site as well as many college and university websites.
Private student loan volume dropped significantly in 2008 and 2009, down from $20 billion a year to an estimated $10 billion a year as the effects of the credit crisis trickled down to student finance. Volume is expected to pick up going forward, primarily through large national banks and some credit unions.
Institutional Grants are dependent upon the college or university. These are typically merit awards given on the basis of some form of outstanding skilled achievement. Sometimes, these awards are given without any consideration of family finances.
From 2001 to 2006, tuition and fees at risen by 57% at 4 year colleges -- 40% even after adjusting for inflation. From 1990 to 2005, the average price of a four-year public university more than doubled to $13,425 while the average price for a four-year private university similarly doubled to $36,510.
The average graduating senior from the class of 2006 had student loan debt of $19,646. Students attending universities in New England and the Midwest graduate with the highest levels of debt.