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Student Financial Aid


Financial Aid for Students

Guides students through the process of locating and applying for financial aid. Prepared by the Congressional Research Service for Members of Congress, updated May 2012.

The basics: getting started

  • Start gathering information early.
  • Free information is readily available from:
High school counselors
College and career school financial aid offices (where you plan to attend)
Local and college libraries
Student Aid on the Web (U.S. Department of Education)
Other Internet sites (search terms student financial aid OR assistance)
  • Ask questions: counselors may know if you have exceptional circumstances that affect your eligibility.
  • Keep copies of all forms and correspondence: you must reapply for aid each year.
  • Parents of students: save money long before your child attends college.
  • Good overviews: 
  • Beware of scholarship scams -- don’t pay for free information!

Student aid and where it comes from

Basic assistance categories:
  • Financial need-based
Remember that students and their parents are responsible for paying what they can -- financial aid is a supplement, not a substitute, for family resources.
  • Non need-based
Factors include academic excellence, ethnic background, or organization membership. Corporations may also offer assistance to employees and children.
Federal Student Aid:
  • Provides nearly 70% of student aid under Loans, Grants and Work/study programs.
  • Available to all need-based applicants; some loans and competitive scholarships for non need-based.
  • Free information from the United States Department of Education:
  • Loans are the most common federal aid and must be repaid when you graduate or leave college.
Stafford Loans (FFELs and Direct Loans) include:
Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) from private lenders, such as banks and credit unions, guaranteed by the federal government.
Federal PLUS Loans parental loans, not need-based.

Perkins Loans for the most needy undergraduates; through participating schools.

  • Scholarships/grants are mostly need-based and require no repayment:
  • "Congressional" scholarships:
Named for Member of Congress or other prominent individual (such as Byrd Honors Scholarships, Fulbright fellowships)
Merit-based and highly competitive
Members of Congress do not play a role in selecting recipients
  • Work study programs allow you to earn money while in school:

Federal Work Study Program: college campus jobs

Student Educational Employment: jobs with the federal government

  • For questions not covered by the Department of Education Web site, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.
States offer residents a variety of scholarships, loans, and tuition exemptions.
Colleges and universities provide some 20% of aid, most need-based. Check university Web sites and the institution’s financial aid office when you apply for admission.
Private foundations, corporations, and organizations offer scholarships or grants:

Targeted aid for special groups

Interested in public service?

Federal assistance programs seek to encourage people to work in geographic areas or professions where there’s a particular need (such as doctors in underserved areas); encourage underrepresented groups to enter a particular profession; and provide aid in exchange for services provided (such as military service).
Volunteers who complete one year of service receive an education award for current higher education expenses or to repay student loans.
Additional benefits for Army personnel.
Scholarships for American Indian/Alaskan Native health profession students and loan repayment for persons working in IHS facilities.
  • Military academies:
Scholarships and loan repayment for health profession students who agree to work in underserved areas.
Offered in exchange for two years of service in areas with critical nursing shortages.
  • Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)
For students who want to be commissioned as officers after graduating from college.
Scholarships, grants, fellowships, internships, and cooperative education with federal agencies.
Aid for private K-12 education: No direct federal assistance, check with schools themselves:

Repaying your loans

After college, the federal government has ways to help you repay your loans.
  • Eligibility depends upon the type of loan, when it was made, and whether it’s in default. Check with your loan officer to find out if you qualify.
  • Loan Consolidation: combine your federal loans into a single loan with one monthly payment.
  • Sometimes loans may be canceled in exchange for public service.
Health professions: National Health Service Corps
Law school graduates: Loan Repayment Assistance Programs
Medical school graduates: Loan Repayment Program

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    Comments (optional)
    repName Mia Love  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Utah 4th District Office
    9067 South 1300 West Suite101
    West Jordan, UT 84088
    Phone: 801-996-8729
    Fax: 801-987-8631
    district 4th District of Utah  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2016  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2016  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 30  
    repStateABBR UT  
    repDistrict 4  
    repState Utah  
    repDistrictText 4th  
    SponsoredBills Sponsored Bills  
    CoSponsoredBills Co-Sponsored Bills  
  • Office Locations Push

    Office Name Location Image Map URL
    Washington DC 217 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-3011
    Fax: (202) 225-5638
    Utah 4th District Office
    Serving West Jordan
    9067 South 1300 West Suite101
    West Jordan, UT 84088
    Phone: (801) 996-8729
    Fax: (801) 987-8631
    South Office
    10 Welcome Street
    Tuesdays & Thursdays
    9:00 AM- 11:00 AM