College Goal Wisconsin! -Get FREE, on-site professional assistance completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is the form that you MUST complete to be considered for grants and loans for college. http://www.collegegoalwi.org/index.php/where/

    Financial aid is money available to assist students with the costs of attending college.

    To apply for financial aid, you must first identify and apply for a post-secondary school. Financial aid is determined and awarded by the school you plan on attending, not the actual federal government, so you must have selected a school that will receive your financial information. Second, you must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal student aid. This form can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov .  Before you can submit the FAFSA, you will need to request a Federal Student Aid PIN at www.pin.ed.gov . You will need this PIN to electronically 'sign' your application before submitting it. If you are providing parent information within this form (dependent students are required to do this), then one parent must also apply for a PIN to electronically 'sign' the form as well.

    Students can apply for financial aid after January 1st of the year they are applying for school, so for high school students it will be your senior year. You do not need to accept all of the aid money awarded to you. You can choose to reject or reduce any or all of it. 

    If the financial aid process seems daunting to you, the college system has set up a College Goal Sundayprogram.  This event runs in February of each year and is a time when college financial aid counselors will be present at a number of different locations throughout the state to help families complete the FAFSA.  To learn more about this event, visit www.collegegoalwi.org.

    There are four forms of financial aid:

    Grants are awarded based on financial need and do not require repayment. Your need is based on a formula calculated using information in the FAFSA. Use FAFS4caster atwww.fafsa4caster.ed.gov to receive an early estimate of your aid eligibility and find out if you're eligible for a Pell grant. There are four main types of federal grants:

    Pell: Students must attend an eligible school and show a certain level of financial need.

    Supplemental Educational Opportunity (SEOG): Pell-eligible students who show the most financial need.

    Academic Competitiveness (ACG): First and second-year Pell-eligible students who graduate with a rigorous high school curriculum.

    National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (National SMART Grants): Third and fourth-year Pell-eligible students majoring in physical, life, or computer science, mathematics, technology, engineering, or in certain foreign languages.

    Loans may be offered to students and parents at low interest rates. When students receive a loan, they sign a promissory note saying that they will repay the money back, even if the student does not finish school and receive a degree. Federal student loans are generally better alternatives to private loans, due to their repayment flexibility and their availability. There are three main types of federal student loans:

    Stafford: Subsidized Stafford loans are available to students who qualify based on financial need. Unsubsidized Stafford loans are available to all students, regardless of financial need. The government will pay the interest on subsidized loans, but not unsubsidized loans, while the student is in school. Students do not have to repay the loans until they graduate or drop below half-time status.

    PLUS: Parents who meet credit requirements can take out loans for their dependent undergraduate students. Parents are required to pay for all interest, starting after the first disbursement. PLUS loan repayments start after the final disbursement. The main purpose of this loan is to bridge the gap between the cost of your education and the amount of financial aid received.

    Perkins: Exceptional need-based loan. The government pays the interest while the student is in school.

    Scholarships are awarded to students based on the applicant's academic achievement, merit, athletics, need, ethnicity, and /or school or program of choice. Scholarships do not require repayment. National, State, and Local Scholarships will be located in a red box in the LMC next to the magazine rack. A form next to the applications will list the scholarships and when they became available. It is the student's responsibility to periodically check the form to see if new scholarships are available. Institutional scholarships are offered through individual campuses and programs to students accepted into them. Students and parents are encouraged to make a personal contact with the campuses they are interested in concerning information on that school/field.

    Student Employment may be offered in the form of work-study. Work-study is awarded based on need and will provide the opportunity for employment, usually on-campus, during the academic year. This work is part-time, paid on an hourly wage, and often limited to a specific number of hours per week.