Financial Aid is any form of monetary assistance students receive to help pay for education after high school. There are various forms of financial aid, including scholarships and grants, student loans, and work study positions. Financial assistance can be awarded based on a student's financial need, merit, or both.
FAFSA - Your #1 Priority!
FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the most important thing you can do to secure financial aid for post-secondary education. By applying for FAFSA, you are applying to most federal and state financial aid programs. Even if you are unsure about whether you will need financial aid or if you will qualify for financial aid, we highly recommend that you complete the FAFSA anyway. At minimum, all students qualify for federal student loans which are typically the best option for borrowing money for college.
The FAFSA is available online after October 1, and should be submitted by March 1.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO I GET THE MOST FINANCIAL AID?
Apply for FAFSA before March 1. Applying before this date will help ensure you get everything you qualify for. Also, check out local scholarships by accessing our Scholarship Database. Private scholarships are the largest untapped resource for financing a college education.
DO I NEED TO FILE THE FAFSA?
Yes! Even if you are unsure whether you will qualify for anything or if you will need to use any financial aid, it's best to apply anyway. It's free and you aren't committing to taking anything. You may need to apply for FAFSA in order to be eligible or apply for other scholarships anyway, like the Promise Scholarship.
HOW IS ELIGIBILITY FOR NEED-BASED AID DETERMINED?
Complex formulas and many factors are used to determine your financial need. Ultimately, your need is based on your EFC, or "Expected Family Contribution," and the cost of attendance at your school of choice.
IS BORROWING MONEY FOR COLLEGE FOOLISH?
Ultimately, this is a family decision. But it's important to be a wise borrower no matter what you decide. Only take what you need to pay for college each year. Also, consider other options for paying for college, like private scholarships, going part-time, starting at a community college, or living at home while attending college. Compare your costs at each college you're considering and choose the best investment.
Visit the Federal Student Aid YouTube Channel!
Financial Aid Calendar
OCTOBER 1: PROMISE Scholarship Application available online at www.collegeforwv.com.
OCTOBER 1: FAFSA available at studentaid.gov.
MARCH 1: Deadline to apply for PROMISE Scholarship at www.collegeforwv.com (FAFSA and PROMISE application required).
MARCH 1: Priority deadline in West Virginia to submit FAFSA at studentaid.gov.
MARCH 1: Colleges and Universities typically begin contacting students with Financial Aid Award Package.
APRIL 15: Deadline to submit FAFSA at studentaid.gov for West Virginia Higher Education Grant.