Types of Financial Aid and Funding Options for Students
Students throughout their school and college life require money for acquiring various means to study. This generates the need of financial aid for a student which is available in various forms such as loans, work study funds, grants and scholarships. Students can avail this opportunity to cut a major portion of cost incur in their student life. Student financial aid encourages many students to continue with their studies who are not much privileged to get good educational services due their poor financial conditions.
There are many types of financial aid available for students through which they can pass the financial barrier and acquire quality education. However, there might be cases where students do not know about such facilities and thus they fail to avail such financial aid. Many private and government organization have planned different sources of funds for the student’s education. Following are the kinds of financial aid for students that are now available for all those students who want some financial aid in order to study further without facing any monetary block.
Check out below for the different types of financial aid and funding options for students:
One of the most common sources of financial aid for students is scholarships. It is one of the best alterative because the students do not need to pay back the scholarship amount. Both private as well as individual organizations offer scholarship opportunities to the students who perform exceptionally well in specific fields such as academic results, sports, extra-curriculum and reservations based on financial background, race, religious or other affiliations. The authorities also conduct competitions such as essay writing or project for selecting the most deserving candidate for scholarship to avoid biasness. Scholarships are offered right from the school level to university level. Students should participate in scholarship events like quizzes or Olympiads and grab maximum advantage from it.
2) Work & study program
Sometimes, the institute offer part-time work especially to their students in campus or some other place so that they can get an opportunity to earn for their educational expenses. The school and university employ students on work-study basis in many fields such as administrative centre, student centre, library, residence hall, athletic department, etc. This enables students to be financially independent and carry their studies without worrying about arrangement of money.
Similar to scholarships, grants are also student financial aids which do not need to be paid back to the authorities. The federal and state government provide grants to specific students on the basis of their merit or need. Colleges and private funding organizations can also offer grants to students for financing their education. There are various kinds of grants which can help students for their financial aid.
For example, Pell grants are given to the students who are doing their graduation depending upon many factors such as financial need of the student or attendance cost of schools.
Next, students can benefit from FSEOG which stands for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity. It is a programme where under-grad students can get grants that experience very low level of financial availability. Another grant available for students is Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants which is particularly reserved for the children of those individuals who died while serving in military area of Iraq or Afghanistan. Likewise, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants is meant for students who aspire to take teaching profession in future and serve in economically low level areas.
Loans are the financial aid given to students by private or federal institutions for the purpose of meeting their financial needs to compete education. Loans have to be repaid along with the interest during the course as per the agreed terms and conditions. Education loans are comparatively cheaper than the other usual loans as here the rates are set as per the capacity of the students. Also, in some cases the students get the option to repay it once they start earning after completing their degree.
The college students can get two types of federal loans i.e. subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans demands prove from the students regarding their financial needs. They experience relaxation of six months during their graduation from the US Department of Education. Interest rates are less in this case as compared to the unsubsidized ones as the latter does not mandate the students to provide proof while applying for the loan. In addition to this, students can get loans from private banks. Although, they charge high interest rates and are given to only those individuals who have good credit score.
5) Institutional Assistance
Institution assistance means initiating the financial aid for students by school itself. Many educational institutions offer scholarships, work-study facility, grants or loans to their students. During admission process, many school authorities schedule entrance tests for the applicants and offer proportionate or full relaxation for academic fees to the top scorers. Apart from this, institutions also wave off fee for economically backward student up-to a certain percentage according to their policy of corporate social responsibility. These days it has become very important for the educational institutions to reserve seats for economically weaker section of the society. Moreover, many schools and colleges do so in order to increase their goodwill among other competitors.
6) Private Financing
There are many private organizations who offer loans to the students for financial aid. They make customised plans for the loan purpose which may have varied interest rates and repayment schedule. They are pursued by those students who failed to get federal loans. Private financing houses run on their own terms and conditions which are not always in the favour of the students.
7) State Aid
States provide assistance to the students who require financial aid and are a resident or a non-resident student of the state’s college. It can be provided by the way of loans, scholarships or grants. The state aid includes a whole systematic process of applying for the fund after filling a specific form by the students for the consideration.
8) Corporate Funding
Many business organizations support their employees if they are enrolled in some educational course and require financial aid. If the course is related to their job role then the employer often conduct loan forgiveness programme or give tuition reimbursement. This serves a dual purpose i.e. the student gets its financial aid and employers get to work with more skilled individuals.
9) Federal Aid
Federal aid looks upon the financial needs of the students and offers numerous financial benefits like providing tax waive for the students, awarding students of foster care by the means of giving vouchers related to education and training, programmes focusing on loan repayment and scholarships. This financial aid for student covers various expenses starting from tuition fees to study material and transportation. The programme also includes giving out books, dependent care and computers to the students because taking admission is not the last resort of financial need, there are many other expenses incurred while studying which is undertaken by programmes conducted under federal aid.
The students pursuing their graduation and post-graduation are eligible for fellowship programme made for student financial aid. Just like scholarships and grant, they are not meant to be repaid. They are given by different bodies which can be government aided, private institutions or other organizations. There is no fixed amount in fellowship and it varies from student to student. It is give for either of the twp purposes i.e. education or research motive. The benefiters of fellowship earn stipend of 1 to 4 years and may experience tuition waive off. The faculty render fellowship to meritorious students and also in some case according to the need of the student. One can apply for fellowship during the last year of their schooling. The faculty member of school can also recommend their student for fellowship programme in colleges and universities.
When a student is doing graduation, they can avail the benefit of assistantship. It is similar to work-study, part time programmes or internships. The only difference is that in assistantship, the students work in the college campus and performs role like assistant to a professor, a research assistant or an assistant teacher. The availability of institutional or federal grant decides the amount of reward to be given to the concerned student. The students selected for assistantship do research or teach students the subject they are pursuing in that institution. The assistant teachers go though introductory level of teaching where as the research assistant is usually engaged in laboratory work. The terms of assistantship vary from college to college according to their requirement for assistant teacher and researcher.
Students can avail more than one financial aid to have a smooth study life. They are eligible to carry on with their studies without thinking about the monetary requirement because of the above mentioned sources of financial aid specifically made for educational purpose. They just need to be aware of all these facilities so that they can apply for it timely. The state and federal do a lot for offering enough financial assistance to the needy and able students. Every institution has their own set of regulations regarding how and to whom they will render the fund. Overall, these funding programmes encourage the students to pursue higher education.