Types of Aid
Grants: Federal and State Governments offer Grants to students as a form of Gift Aid, meaning they do not need to be paid back. Examples of Federal Grants include the Pell Grant, TEACH Grant, and Service Grant. A FAFSA must be filed to be considered for government grants, although other grants are sometimes offered directly through schools.
Scholarships: Schools, non-profit, and private organizations offer scholarships to students to help pay for post-secondary education. Scholarships are another form of Gift Aid and do not need to be repaid. Some scholarships will require specific criteria to apply such as financial need, specific ethnic groups, organization affiliation, or residency requirements. Each scholarship application is different and deadlines vary throughout the year. Merit based scholarships are awarded through the colleges that students apply to. Merit based scholarships are typically awarded based on the college application with no separate application required. Merit based scholarships are awarded based on GPA, test scores, and/or class-rank.
Work Study: Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Work Study opportunities are offered through participating schools. If a student qualifies for this program, Work Study will be listed under the school's offered financial aid package after a student submits their FAFSA. Work study award amounts depend on when you apply, your level of financial need, and your school's funding level.
Student Loans: When you receive a student loan, you are borrowing money to attend a college or career school. You must repay the loan as well as interest that accrues. Loans are offered through the Federal Government after filing the FAFSA as either a Subsidized loan (no interest is accrued while the student is in school +6 months after graduation), Unsubsidized loan (interest is accumulated for the whole duration of the loan), or a Parent PLUS Loan (the parent of a dependent student is the borrower and is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status). Loans are also offered through private institutions with interest and repayment varying between lenders.
FAFSAThe "Better FAFSA" is the new and improved FAFSA. This new form is required for the 2024-2025 School Year and will not be available until December of 2023! FAFSA Application
What is FAFSA?
FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The sooner you file your FAFSA, more aid options will be available to you. To receive federal student aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans, you need to complete the FAFSA every year you attend college. Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA information to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.
What do I need to file a FAFSA?
- FSA ID, which you can create here
- Social Security number
- Driver license
- Bank statements
- Parent information (if you're a dependent)
- W-2 forms and tax returns
- Up to 10 schools you are interested in attending
What happens after I file my FAFSA?
After filing your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) listing all the information you provided in the online application. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be included in the SAR. Colleges will then calculate your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA). Your EFC is subtracted from your COA to determine your eligibility for aid.
Peoria's new College and Career Readiness Platform, SchooLinks has a scholarship search built in. Log into SchooLinks on the Student Portal to search.
Peoria Unified School District offers scholarships to our graduates annually! Check the Peoria Foundation Website for due dates and announcements.RaiseMe Scholarships: RaiseMe is an online tool many colleges use to award students with scholarships before they even start applying to schools! Students can earn scholarships to pay for college by doing things that will improve their chances of getting into many colleges and universities. Every time you reach a goal like getting good grades or doing extracurricular activities, you can earn microscholarships, starting as early as the 9th grade.Students can sign up here: Raise.MeIn-State College Scholarship Pages:
- Scholarship Universe (must apply to UofA before you can access)