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Where’s the Money

You’ve decided to go to college. Now you have to figure out how to pay for it. A college education is more affordable than you think. Financial aid comes in many forms, and you’ll probably qualify for more than one type.

Find out what financial aid is available. You may qualify for aid based on academic achievement, athletic skill, musical ability or financial need. Contact the financial aid office at the school you want to attend to find out what’s available.

Check with the school to find out the latest costs. Depending on the financial aid you’re offered, it might not cost any more to go to a more expensive school than a less expensive school. You won’t know unless you check. You can compare the costs of different schools by using the Getting the Facts Report.

Let’s look at some common questions.

How is financial aid awarded?

Financial aid is awarded by state and federal governments, your college and private businesses and organizations. Remember, though, that you and your parents are expected to pay as much as you can toward your college expenses.

Who develops the financial aid package?

Generally, the school’s financial aid office develops your package based on guidelines and law. The package usually includes grants, scholarships, work-study and loans and depends on what funds are available.