Financial Aid, Scholarships & Loans
Figuring out how to pay for college can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many opportunities to relieve some of the financial burden and make college an option for everyone. With financial aid, many students who can’t afford to pay for college on their own are able to enroll in college and earn a degree. Financial aid refers to money that helps you pay for college, and it comes in many forms. Start searching for financial aid early and talk to your school counselor to learn more.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, offers more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Program. FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for these funds, which are need-based.
In addition, many colleges and universities use the information on the FAFSA to make decisions about scholarships, grants, and loans awarded through their institution (these might be need-based, and might be available for undocumented DACA students).
FAFSA applications open on Oct. 1 for the following school year.
Financial aid is often given on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important for students to submit their FAFSA as close to Oct. 1 as possible.
IN ORDER TO COMPLETE THE FAFSA, STUDENTS WILL NEED:
Federal tax returns
Student social security numbers (undocumented and DACA students should see their counselor for guidance)
Parent social security numbers (you can still apply if your parent doesn’t have a social security number)
Date of birth
Your driver’s license or government ID
Types of Federal Financial Aid
Common Financial Aid Myths
VISIT THESE LINKS TO LEARN MORE:
Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA)
Non-U.S. citizens and those that are not permanent residents of the U.S. can use the CASFA to apply for institutional aid.
Complete the FAFSA https://studentaid.gov/
CASFA for Non-U.S. citizens and those that are not permanent residents of the U.S.
- Local and Regional Scholarship Opportunities
Through the CollegeBoard link you can access your PSAT/SAT tests, your AP account, Scholarship Opportunities, and College help tools.
- Boettcher Scholarship
Scholarship opportunity for Colorado’s most dynamic young minds, doers, and difference makers!
- Daniels Fund Scholarship
The Daniels Scholarship Program provides up to $100,000 for motivated students to earn a bachelor’s degree. Daniels Scholars demonstrate exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to serving
- Aim for the Stars Scholarship
Opens in February of each school year. See counselor for more info.
Find scholarships, colleges, internships and more!
- ASCENT College Financial Opportunity
A “5th Year Program” that allows eligible seniors to remain enrolled at the high school and take a fifth year consisting entirely of college classes. The cost of college tuition is covered by the school district. Requirements include: 2.0+gpa, Completed nine credit hours of college level coursework. Complete this FORM for your counselor by December 1st if interested.
- TREP College Financial Opportunity
A “5th & 6th Year Program” that allows students following the teaching career pathway to participate in an approved educator pathway at a qualified Colorado college. The cost of college tuition is covered by the school district. Requirements include: committing to an education pathway at an approved college, and having taken a prerequisite class in high school. Complete this FORM for your counselor by December 1st if interested.
Also, our friends at Fairview High School, in Boulder, create and maintain an extensive scholarship list.
Scholarships Available at YOUR College: (More scholarships on Naviance email)
Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) is a tax-advantaged investment account.
Roth Individual Retirement Account can be used for both college expenses and retirement income.
Education Bond Program (U.S. Savings Bonds) makes the interest on certain savings bonds tax-free when the bonds are redeemed to pay qualified higher education expenses or to roll over into a section 529 plan.
Uniform Trust/Gift to Minors Act Account (UTMA/UGMA) is a simple way for a minor to own securities without requiring the services of an attorney to prepare trust documents or the court appointment of a trustee. UTMA is similar, but also allows minors to own other types of property, such as real estate, fine art, patents and royalties, and for the transfers to occur through inheritance.
If after exploring the other options for financial aid, you still need help paying for school, loans can also be an option. It is always best to consider your plan for repaying these loans beforehand.
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans (Stafford Loans) Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school.
Federal Parent PLUS Loans are restricted to the biological and/or adoptive parents, as well as step-parents of a dependent undergraduate student if they are on the FAFSA. The loan is taken out in the parent’s name and cannot be transferred.
Federal Loans vs Private Loans If you apply for financial aid, your school will likely include student loans as part of your financial aid package. It’s important to understand what types of loans you are offered. Generally, there are two types of student loans:
Current Interest Rates and Fees If you receive a federal student loan, you will be required to repay that loan with interest. It is important that you understand how interest is calculated and the fees associated with your loan. Both of these factors will impact the amount you will be required to repay.