Financial Aid

The strongest deciding factor for students is whether they qualify for federal financial aid at all once that decision is reached they are treated like any other student.
The federal financial aid regulations define an eligible student as:

Federal Aid programs
Each of the programs named below are federal programs.  To recieve federal aid the student must meet the requirements above.  Also to recieve aid in any of these programs the student must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and any requests for additional information made by the school.  The school financial aid office is responsible for verifying the student's eligibility and in most cases the federal government chooses the students that they must verify.
Some schools may also require additional documentation in addition to the FAFSA this is perfectly within their responsibilities and any student who does not comply cannot recieve aid.  The FAFSA must be filled out each year the student attends school.  Most schools either require or encourage that the FAFSA be due between Febuary and April before the student begins attending in the Fall.  This allows the student's file to be fully processed before the fall semester.
The FAFSA defines for the student the families estimated family contribution (EFC) the school then defines the school budget (cost for attending including living expenses).  The budget minus the estimated family contribution provides a figure that is the student's financial need.  I will periodically mention need below.

Most of the information below is not essential but it gives you an idea of the process the financial aid officer goes through when awarding you aid and the types of aid available.
The primary federal programs are:

State Grant Programs
State grant programs vary vastly by state as do the requirements for their programs. I will try to include more information about the grant programs that require special requirements but that will take some time.  Please email me at: if you know of state programs that need to be mentioned.

College Based Programs
Some colleges have their own funding that they use to assist students to attend school.  These will vary too much to have any hope of listing them.  Typically these programs have little overall effect on a student's award package since these funds are very limited.

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