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
, and COA
Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS)
- a grant-in-aid awarded to students achieving a high GPA and test score.
- correspondence you will receive from your school's financial aid office. It details the COA - FA = Remaining Balance.
- 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
- Federal legislation providing potential money for higher education after you have completed your military service. Lots of money
- 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.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
. Need-based financial aid potentially received by completing the FAFSA... need not be repaid.
- 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
- Reserve Officer's Training Corps. Potential scholarship and stipend (wage) monies awarded members who prepare for a term as a military officer.
- 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.
- 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.
- Need-based financial aid... need not be repaid... awarded based on information provided on the FAFSA
- 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.
- 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.