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Academic Financial Aid

Options to Help You Ease out Your Financial Burden in College

Sometimes college fees might be a challenge for you. You need not worry. With the wide array of academic financial aid options available for you, you only need to identify what would work best for you and go for it. Academic financial aid is any money offered to help you as a student meet some of the college expenses.


How to get opportunities for academic financial aid

There are numerous ways on how you can access opportunities for academic financial aid. They include

  • Subscriptions: You can subscribe to websites that offer scholarship alerts, and also follow organization that give alerts on their social media pages
  • Visiting the student welfare office in your institution or their website to find out more about opportunities available.
  • Print media as well as broadcast media can provide this kind of advertisements occasionally. Be on the lookout for them.
  • Government offices: Some public buildings and government offices might be of assistance when you decide to consult with them
  • Look for non-profits or a foundation that sponsors students.

Different sources of aid

There are four categories of aid that might help you out. They are however not limited to;

Government Aid: This is offered and managed by a government departments and usually applies to institutions from across a country and mostly for public universities and colleges.

Institutional Aid: This is aid that is given by the institution that you are studying in from within their reserves. They might do this as a part of their corporate social responsibility or to help more needy students in the country. The institutional aids also help to shape the kind of students that are accepted in the institution.

Private Aid: This can be given by non-profits and foundations committed to furthering education, or financial institutions in form of loans.

Institutional Partner Aid: Some educational institutions partner with corporations organizations to facilitate scholarships and grants to students enrolled in the specific college. This kind of partnership aid is usually program specific.


Types of academic financial aid available

Grants, Scholarships: They are usually merit-based, and non-refundable. Your background is a major determinant when you are applying for a grant or scholarship. There are also grants and scholarships for disabled and if you are a lady, you are lucky as there are special scholarships for women.



State loans: These are offered by the government, and the most common criteria applied for them are for students who come from poor backgrounds. You need to demonstrate a need for financial neediness to be awarded state loans. You have to repay the loans within a specified amount of time after you graduate from college.

Private loans: These are offered by the private institutions, and sometimes you don’t have to specify that you are applying for a study loan. Sometimes financial institutions partner with educational institutions to provide subsidized student loans with lower interest rates compared to normal loans at the bank.

Work Study: This is an arrangement between the institutions that you are studying in for you to work in one of the departments and then your pay to be transferred to your fees or cover other costs such as medical fees or library fees.

Common places that you can apply to work in for such a program are faculty help-desks, student center, career and attachment office, university relations and communications office, or even the cafeteria for hospitality tourists. The good thing about a work-study opportunity is that apart from earning you extra bucks, it would look good on your resume, showing that you were not just any other student.

For college students, money is never enough, but this does not give you an excuse of applying for academic aid when you do not need it. It is highly advisable that you do not apply for financial aid if you are capable of paying your own fees. The reason is because there are less advantaged students who need the money more than you do.


Eligibility for academic financial aid

Often, the criteria used to determine the eligibility of a student’s application for the aid are

  • Merit: these may be your high school grade that stands out from the rest of other students.
  • Family background of financial inadequacy: If your parents are not so well off, or if you are an orphan.
  • Achievements such as being a nationwide best student.
  • Talent: This could be in music, sports, writing or any other naturally endowed area in your life
  • People with physical and intellectual disabilities such as the blind, deaf, or children with Autism.
  • The program you are applying for( this could be the major, undergraduate or postgraduate)
  • Geographical location: Based on the place you come from or the place that you are studying in.
  • Past financial aid records: If you have a good past record of financial id, it is highly likely that you will be considered for aid.
  • Some scholarships are gender specific. Exclusively for men or for women.

It is important to keep in mind that some grants make use of a combination of two or more of the above eligibility criteria to select the aid recipients.


Loss of eligibility for academic financial aid

You could lose eligibility for academic aid if:

  • you default on loans
  • you don’t perform on former scholarships (having an unsatisfactory academic record),
  • you are convicted of an offense
  • you get an accidental excess of aid in your account

You can regain your eligibility by clearing your defaults and improving grades.

Apply for all types of education aid that you qualify for, and do the applications before the deadline. Some of the opportunities are very competitive, the applications usually have a sharp deadline to minimize on the content that will be reviewed to determine the people to receive aid. You never know when your lucky time is.

You will have to sign a contract in any form of academic financial aid. Make sure you retain a copy of any agreement that has been made for future references if a problem arises.

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