Helping Your Child Apply for Financial Aid

Authored By
Education for Justice
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Every year the federal government gives out millions of dollars in financial aid to college students. This aid can be a grant, a loan or work-study.

  • A grant is money that you don’t have to be pay back.
  •  A loan is money that you usually have to pay back after you graduate or stop attending school. There are some loans that you have to make payments while you are in school.
  • The work-study program funds student employment in jobs approved by the college they attend.

Most states and colleges also have aid programs to help so students can afford to finish college. In order to get financial aid, you have to fill out a “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA). This application asks for income information from parents (including stepparents) and from students.

The FAFSA application can be found at You can fill it out online or print a copy to mail in. If you need a blank form mailed to you call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). If you are hearing impaired, contact the TTY line at 1-800-730-8913.

NOTE: The FAFSA application is free to fill out. Be careful of websites that are offering the FAFSA application and charging. They are usually .com sites. Make sure the web address is the right one!