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Financial Aid

Financial aid is the money given and used to pay for your education. There are four types of financial aid: grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. To learn more about the cost of college, the types of financial aid, and how to apply for them, please visit the links below.

How Much Does College Cost?

The cost of college varies from school to school and is an important part of deciding which college to attend.

Here are the national averages for tuition alone*:

  • Public two-year college: $3,440
  • Public four-year college in state: $9,410
  • Public four-year college out of state: $23,890
  • Private four-year college: $32,410

*Source: College Board

Please reading understanding college cost to understand what exactly you are paying for in school, use the college cost calculator to find out how much your school will cost to attend and for any additional questions read these college cost frequently asked questions.


To see how affordable your college is compared to other schools, check out the College Affordability Guide. This helpful guide rates the best college in terms of affordability by each state.

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  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

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)


  Student Loans

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

Wisconsin State Financial Aid


The State of Wisconsin gives financial aid to students from Wisconsin and who are staying in Wisconsin for school. To learn more, visit the State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board financial aid website.

Eligibility: To be eligible for Wisconsin state financial aid, a student must

  • be a resident of the state of Wisconsin;
  • have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent;
  • be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or certificate program;
  • be attending a nonprofit college or university based in Wisconsin.

Male students seeking financial aid from the State of Wisconsin or from the US Department of Education are required to register with the United States Selective Service System:

Local Scholarships

You can access local scholarships through your Career Cruising account! Here is how:

  1. Go to the Milwaukee Public Schools website (
  2. Hover over the Students  tab.
  3. Under Tools, click Student Toolbox, which will redirect to
  4. Log into Clever to access student applications and tools.
  5. Select Career Cruising  and log in with your student ID number. Your username is the prefix "MKE-" followed by your student ID; for example, MKE-1234567. Your password for your first log-in is your birthdate in mm/dd/yy form; for example, for August 25, 2002, enter as "08/25/02."
  6. Once in Career Cruising, under Suggested Links  on the left side, click Local Scholarship Applications—Apply Today!  or click the Financial Aid  tab at the top and select Local Scholarships.
  7. Select scholarships that are of interest for detailed information.

Special Hours

Please see below for special hours during the 2019-20 school year:

All CACCs will be closed on Thursday, September 19, for professional development.

Week of September 16, 2019:

CACC Meir: Closed all week.
CACC Marshall: Closed all week.
CACC Reagan: Wednesday, closed; Friday, 12 noon to 3 p.m.

To see school-year hours of operation for each center and more, please visit our Locations and Hours page.


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