College Financial Aid
Paying for college need not be a mystery or intimidating endeavor. Just learn some basic terms, get familiar with your college's financial aid department, and most importantly - follow through!

Start with the Big Three: FAFSA, CACHE, and COA

Alaska Performance Scholarship
(APS) - a grant-in-aid awarded to students achieving a high GPA and test score.

Award Letter - correspondence you will receive from your school's financial aid office. It details the COA - FA = Remaining Balance.

CACHE - Combined Application for College & Higher Education. By completing this one form, you may receive scholarships from: Kawerak, Bering Strait Foundation, Sitnasauk Foundation, Norton Sound Health Corporation, and / or Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation.

Cost of Attendance (COA) - the combined total of room, board, tuition, fees, and books at your school. This information can be found on your school's Office of Financial Aid web page. (UAA COA) (UAF COA)

GI Bill - Federal legislation providing potential money for higher education after you have completed your military service. Lots of money.

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Completing this form may qualify you for grants or loans. Your school's financial aid office will make the actual financial award.

Financial Aid (FA) - all monies awarded by a school to defray the COA.

FSEOG - Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Need-based financial aid potentially received by completing the FAFSA... need not be repaid.

Merit-based Scholarship - Grant-in-aid money awarded by a school or private entity for higher education expenses. Generally this award is based on a combination of GPA and (ACT) test scores. Check out the UA Scholarship page!

Need-based Financial Aid - Monies awarded based on the information provided on the FAFSA.

ROTC - Reserve Officer's Training Corps. Potential scholarship and stipend (wage) monies awarded members who prepare for a term as a military officer.

Scholarship - technically known as a grant-in-aid... a scholarship need not be repaid upon completion of your higher education program.

Special Talent Scholarships - Grant-in-aid money awarded by a school in exchange for participation on institutional teams.

Student Loan - Borrowed money... must be repaid upon termination of attendance. Pay attention to "subsidized" and "unsubsidized" loan terminology. Interest on a subsidized loan is paid by the government (while you are in school), whereas you pay the interest on an unsubsidized loan while in school.

Pell Grant - Need-based financial aid... need not be repaid... awarded based on information provided on the FAFSA.

UA Scholar - A financial award given to students in the top 10% of their class... nominations are made by the high school administration at the end of a student's 11th Grade year... make sure to be applied for college by May 1 to receive the award.

Work Study - A part-time (usually on-campus) job. These jobs are generally paid minimum wage, service employment... an excellent way to begin a professional resume, network with campus staff, and attain references. Freshman year, think 5 - 10 hours of work / week. Sophomore year consider up to 20 hours. By your Junior or Senior year, you may want to apply to become a resident assistant (RA), which generally provides a free single room, a stipend, and a great resume builder.