What if I Need More Financial Aid?
Most student financial aid comes from the U.S. Department of Education grant, work-study and loan programs you read about here. We award almost all aid based on your demonstrated financial need; your high school grades and class ranking are not considered in this process.
If you still have questions about federal student financial aid programs after reviewing this publication, you can:
Go online to www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov. This site provides comprehensive, FREE information on the student aid process, and it links to other student aid-related sites. Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
Other Financial Aid Sources:
Financial Aid Office
Talk to the financial aid administrator or the financial aid staff at each school you’re interested in to find out about the school’s financial aid programs and the total cost of attending that school.
State Higher Education Agency
Your state agency can give you important information about state aid—including aid from the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) Program, funded jointly by states and the U.S. Department of Education. See the “State Higher Education Agencies” section in this guide for your state contact information.
This program provides full-time educational awards in return for community service work. You can work before, during or after your postsecondary education, and you can use the funds either to pay current educational expenses or to repay federal student loans. For more information, contact:
Corporation for National Service
1201 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20525
TTY Number: 1-800-833-3722
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program (Byrd Program)
To receive this scholarship, you must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and show promise of continued academic excellence. For more information, call toll-free 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or visit www.ed.gov/programs/iduesbyrd/index.html.
Public Libraries and the Internet
These are excellent sources of information on state and private sources of financial aid. When using either source, search using keywords like “financial aid,” “student aid,” “scholarships,” etc. Beware of scams and services that will search for financial aid money for you for a fee.
Businesses and Labor Organizations
Many companies, businesses and labor organizations have programs to help employees or members and their families pay the cost of postsecondary education. Ask if they have a scholarship program and about the application process.
Organizations, Foundations, etc.
Foundations, religious organizations, fraternities or sororities and town or city clubs usually offer student financial aid. Include in your search community organizations and civic groups such as the American Legion, YMCA, 4-H Club, Elks, Kiwanis, Jaycees and the Girl or Boy Scouts. Organizations connected with your field of interest can also be helpful. For example, the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association are good sources for students seeking to specialize in medicine and law.
U.S. Armed Forces
The Armed Forces offer financial aid for service members and their families. For more information on recruitment incentives, contact your local military recruiter or visit the U.S. Department of Defense at www.todaysmilitary.com, click on “What You Get” and then go to “College Help.”
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
If you (or your spouse) are a veteran or you’re the dependent of a veteran, veterans’ educational benefits may be available. Information is available at www.gibill.va.gov or call 1-888-GI-BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS offers student financial aid to certain taxpayers to help pay higher education expenses. The IRS offers two federal income tax credits (tax credits offer dollar-for-dollar reductions in your final tax liability) for higher education expenses.
The Hope Tax Credit, worth up to $1,500 per student, is available for first- and second-year students enrolled at least Half-time.*
The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is a tax benefit equal to 20 percent of a family’s tuition expenses, up to $10,000, for virtually any postsecondary education and training. This applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional schools and even for less than Half-time* study.
For more information on the Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits, and other tax benefits for postsecondary students, go to www.irs.gov. IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education, which explains these credits and other tax benefits, is available online, or call 1-800-829-1040. TTY callers should call 1-800-829-4059.
This site provides access to government resources to help you plan and pay for your education. Besides finding financial aid information, you can use this Web site to file your taxes, search for a job and take advantage of other government services.
Remember, you can get FREE help from the sources we’ve mentioned in this section to find student financial aid, and you can check with the colleges or career schools you’ll be applying to for their help. You don’t have to pay for this help.
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