Aid for College Students

Bookshelves and Resources

To help get you on the right track, you should first consult with your college or university’s financial aid office. Schedule an appointment and they will help you find the money you need. You will, of course, need to do plenty of work on your own, as well.

Also be sure to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This will enable you to receive any federal loans or grants which you may be eligible for.

Types of Aid for College Students

  1. Scholarships and fellowships 
    Over millions of scholarships are awarded each year. There are scholarships based on athletic ability, academic merit, disability, race, nationality, religious affiliation, relation to a cancer victim, location, and more. With a little bit of research and patience, everyone should be able to find a pretty big list of eligible scholarships to apply for. Just be sure to watch out for any scholarship scams.

  2. State Financial Aid
    The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) awards a variety of grants and scholarships to students that are Maryland residents. These awards are based on merit and/or financial need and are in addition to aid awarded by the institution. Students who wish to be considered for state aid must submit the FAFSA by March 1 each year. For a full list of programs, deadlines, separate application and eligibility requirements please visit their website www.mhec.maryland.gov.

  3. Federal Pell Grant
    A Pell Grant is a federal assistance grant that is awarded to students who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree. Awards can be up to $5,815 for the award year, with up to 12 semesters of aid total.

  4. Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) 
    Like the Pell Grant, the FSEOG is available to students with exceptional financial need who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree. Awards range from $100 to $4,000 per year and are given on a first come, first served basis.

  5. Federal Loans
    For students that are offered loans as part of the school's financial aid offer, you must remember that a loan is money that you have to pay back with interest.

    If you select this option, you must understand who is making the loan in addition to the terms and conditions of the loan. Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources.

  6. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
    For students who plan to become teachers, theTEACH Grant can provide up to $4,000 per year. Students who earn this type of grant will sign an agreement to serve as a teacher in certain high-need fields or in low-income areas for at least four complete academic years.

  7. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants 
    Students who have lost a parent or guardian as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan may be eligible for this federal grant. To be eligible, students must not be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant based on Expected Family Contribution, but must meet the remaining Pell Grant eligibility requirements. Further, the student must have been either under 24 years of age or enrolled in college at the time of their parent or guardian’s death in military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11. Students may also find information on related State awards to Veterans at http://mhec.maryland.gov/financialAid/ProgramDescriptions/prog_vaic.asp

  8. Institutional grants 
    Contact your university’s financial aid office to request information on any institutional grants that they may offer. These grants are typically merit-based and will help to cover the costs of education not covered by any federal assistance money.