WHAT KINDS OF FINANCIAL AID CAN I GET?
You don’t only have to rely on student loans in order to pay for school. There are many organizations across Indiana and beyond looking to help out students through scholarships and financial aid. Here, we’ll guide you on how you can find these organizations and programs.
Merit-Based Aid vs. Need-Based Aid
Did you know that your good grades could earn you more dollars for college? Scholarships, grants and institutional aid – money you receive for college that you don’t have to pay back – fall into two categories:
Merit-based aid is awarded to students who have distinguished themselves academically, artistically, athletically, or in another area. Even for aid based on extracurricular activities, grades matter. There is often a grade point average (GPA) cut-off for these. For example, some scholarships only accept applications from students with a 3.0 or higher GPA.
Need-based aid is influenced by how much you or your family can pay for your college education. Things like your family’s income, or another status such as living in a foster home, may qualify you for need-based financial aid. If you qualify for need-based aid, you’ll still have to keep up with your grades – Indiana includes academic requirements for need-based grants and scholarships.
For students who display financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree, Federal Pell Grants offer a solution. A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid except under certain specific circumstances. Find out why you might have to repay, and learn more about Federal Pell Grants here.