For a student to receive federal, state, and/or institutional funding (depending on the university or college), he or she must fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA.
The FAFSA can be completed starting October 1. Each year a student is in school, he or she must complete the FAFSA. To apply and to learn more about the FAFSA, visit the links below:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid Application
Federal Student Aid Toolkit
Read about FAFSA myths and facts:
10 Myths about the FAFSA and Applying for Financial Aid
7 Myths about FAFSA Debunked
Scholarships are a type of financial aid that you do not have to pay back. They are usually won through a competitive process. They can be applied to college-related expenses only. To find different types of scholarships and learn more about how to apply for them, visit the links below.
See below for resources for local scholarships and instructions on how to access them through Career Cruising.
See these sources for scholarship tips and advice:
12 Tips for Winning Scholarships
Tips for Winning College Scholarships
How to Avoid Scholarship and Financial Aid Scams
Grants are also gift aid or aid you do not have to pay back. They are awarded to students through government and instution funds. Grants are not awarded through a competition but are based on financial need or a merit-based requirement. Grants may require additional applications, but most are awarded automatically after students have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To learn more about grants, please visit the links below.
Difference between Grants and Loans
Federal Pell Grant
Wisconsin TIP Grant (a grant for students who meet certain criteria who plan to attend college in Wisconsin, renewable as long as students remain in college)
A student loan is money you borrow from a public or private source and use to pay for college-related expenses. All money you take out on loan you must pay back, usually with interest, which varies by the interest rate of the loan. To learn more about loans, the processes of receiving loans, and repayment information, go to the links below:
Federal Student Loan
Types of Loans and More Information
Public vs. Private Loans