Financial aid and scholarships:
Federal and state aid
The U.S. Department of Education is a major source of student financial aid. Nearly 70 percent of student aid awarded each year comes from U.S. Department of Education programs.
To find out about state programs, contact your state education agency. States sponsor both need-based and non-need-based programs.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Before any college or university can help you obtain federal student aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Complete the FAFSA online, filing as early as October 1 in the year prior that you will be entering college; deadlines to complete the FAFSA vary by institution. Completing this form is well worth your time as many colleges also use the FAFSA to award aid in their own need-based programs (alternatively, they may use the CSS Profile). You must complete the FAFSA each year you intend to receive aid. A separate FAFSA needs to be submitted for each student in the family who is attending college.