For those families who are not prepared to finance the annual costs of tuition, fees, room and board, etc., there is "Financial Aid." In recent years, financial assistance for college students has not kept pace with the rising costs of a college education so you need to be prepared to do a thorough search of all available resources. Where to begin?

The financial aid process begins with the college application process. Applications will ask whether financial aid is needed. ANSWER HONESTLY. The acceptance process is not affected by financial need.

Colleges will tell you which financial form they require. Most colleges require a completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) after January 1 of the senior year. These forms are available in the Counseling Office. They will require information from the completed or estimated Federal Income Tax Form of the previous year. Estimated income must be corrected as appropriate. Based on calculations made from either of the above forms, colleges will offer aid in a variety of forms.

Types of Financial Aid

Gift Aid (Non repayment is required)


Scholarships may come from a variety of sources in the high school, community or college. A listing of local scholarships is kept in the Career Center as information is received and is mailed to senior parents twice a year. See your counselor about scholarship resources: PEPSI, GIS, and NEED A LIFT. College scholarships are arranged individually through the college and the student. Check in the college folders and in the college catalogs in the Career Center for specific college scholarships.

  • Awarded by colleges or private sponsors
  • Based on financial need and/or merit (usually academic, athletic or artistic)
  • May be one time only awards and not renewable each year
  • Applications available from colleges, directly from sponsor or from the career center


  • Pell Grant
    Federal government based on financial aid
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
    based on exceptional financial need
  • Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG)
    from the state of Virginia for students attending a private college or university in Virginia, non-need based

College Work Study

  • Federal funds administered to students working on or off campus at an eligible employer
  • Need based aid

Loans (must be repaid)

  • Perkins Loan
  • Federal loan administered by colleges
  • Based on financial need
  • Interest subsidy while in school
  • Repayment deferred until after graduation
  • Stafford Loans (subsidized)
  • Federal loan program administered by private leaders
  • Based on financial need
  • Interest subsidy while in schools
  • Repayment deferred until after graduation
  • Parent Loan to Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
  • Federal loan program administered by private lenders
  • Not based on financial need
  • Interest rate varies
  • Can choose to pay only the interest while students is in school

Have you heard of the National Community Service Board? This agency will forgive student loans if you agree to work in a community. For more information call 1-800-942-2677.