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College Financial Aid - DC, MD, VA

Headed To College?

Financial aid can be a valuable source to help finance your child’s college education. In fact, in some circumstances, families with incomes of $75,000 or more can still qualify.

Learn About Financial Aid For College

U.S. Government Grants

  • The federal government provides student aid through a variety of programs. The most prominent of these are Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs).
  • Pell Grants are administered by the U.S. government. They are awarded on the basis of college costs and a financial aid eligibility index. The eligibility index takes into account factors such as family income and assets, family size, and the number of college students in the family.
  • By law, Pell Grants can provide up to $5,550 per student for the 2012-2013 award year.1 However, only about 25 percent of recipients currently qualify for the maximum. The average grant was $3,685 in 2011-2012.2 Students must reapply every year to receive aid.
  • Most colleges will not process applications for Stafford loans until needy students have applied for Pell Grants. Students with Pell Grants also receive priority consideration for FSEOGs.
  • Students who can demonstrate severe financial need may also receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. FSEOGs award up to $4,000 per year per student.

State Grants

  • Many states offer grant programs as well. Each state’s grant program is different, but they do tend to award grants exclusively to state residents who are planning to attend an in-state school.
  • Many give special preference to students planning to attend a state school.

College Grants
Finally, many colleges and universities offer specialized grant programs. This is particularly true of older schools with many alumni and large endowments. These grants are usually based on need or scholastic ability. Consult the college or university’s financial aid office for full details.

Sources: 1–2) The College Board, 2012 life_guide_paying_for_college

Parents: Hold Onto Your Retirement Dollars

Before you make any decisions about college payments and before you think about withdrawing from your nest egg, get my FREE resource “LifeGuide: Paying For College” to determine your preparedness for the cost of college.