Financial Aid – What is this & why is it important?

“Financial Aid” aka “FAFSA” aka “How am I going to pay for college?”


Last year I did a parent presentation titled “Financial Aid & Other Scary Things.” I think this theme is still appropriate seeing as it’s October and Financial Aid can be super scary and intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be.

I always ask my students, “how many of you have $20,000 to just give away?” The answer is almost 90% no one. That’s because college is expensive no matter if you’re going for 1 year or 4 years. It costs money that we would miss if we had to part with it all at once.

This is where financial aid comes in. Financial Aid is grants, scholarships, work study and loans that can be offered in any combination to the student. These offers come in “award packages” and will combine available monies from the federal & state governments as well as the college.

To apply for financial aid, students with a Social Security Number can complete the online application by 1. Creating a username at A student and 1 parent will need this username as long as they have a SSN. Then 2. the student can go to fill out the online application at


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