Student Aid

Whether its vocational school, college, coursework to finish a degree, certification programs, or paying for college for your kids, education and training can be your family’s most important investment.

Spend your money wisely:

  • Start early.  Deadlines will vary, but the earlier you apply for school acceptance and for financial assistance, the better your results will be.  In many cases, funds run out as you get towards the end of the application period.
  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step when seeking grants and loans for a college education, including Stafford Loans and Pell Grants.  Applications are completed online.
  • Schools are all different, so make sure to choose a school that meets your needs and is worth your investment of time and money.  The federal government has recently released a school ratings system to help you evaluate the tradeoffs between tuition, graduation rates and ties to long-term employment.  Use the college score card, collegeboard.com and gocollege.com as starting points.  
  • Not all educational financial aid is equal. If you have to take out student loans, you essentially have two choices: federal student loans and private loans.
    • For most borrowers, federal student loans are the best option. When you start to pay back your federal loans, the interest rate will be fixed, which will help you predict your payments after graduation. And in some cases, the federal government will pay the interest on your loans while you are in school – these loans are called subsidized loans.
    • Other student loans are generally private student loans. The most common private student loans are offered by banks. Their interest rates are often variable, which means your interest rates and payments could go up over time. Private loans can also be more expensive – rates have been as high as 16% over the past couple of years. And when it is time to repay, private loans don’t offer as many options to reduce or postpone payments. Check carefully all the terms and conditions.  
  • Each county has Workforce Investment Board programs that can offer federally-funded assistance for continuing education and job training; these programs serve eligible youth, dislocated workers and adults changing careers.  Programs have many different names and are traditionally known as SuperJobs, OneStops, or Career Centers; see below for local links.

Student Aid

Whether its vocational school, college, coursework to finish a degree, certification programs, or paying for college for your kids, education and training can be your family’s most important investment.

Spend your money wisely:

  • Start early.  Deadlines will vary, but the earlier you apply for school acceptance and for financial assistance, the better your results will be.  In many cases, funds run out as you get towards the end of the application period.
  • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step when seeking grants and loans for a college education, including Stafford Loans and Pell Grants.  Applications are completed online.
  • Schools are all different, so make sure to choose a school that meets your needs and is worth your investment of time and money.  The federal government has recently released a school ratings system to help you evaluate the tradeoffs between tuition, graduation rates and ties to long-term employment.  Use the college score card, collegeboard.com and gocollege.com as starting points.  
  • Not all educational financial aid is equal. If you have to take out student loans, you essentially have two choices: federal student loans and private loans.
    • For most borrowers, federal student loans are the best option. When you start to pay back your federal loans, the interest rate will be fixed, which will help you predict your payments after graduation. And in some cases, the federal government will pay the interest on your loans while you are in school – these loans are called subsidized loans.
    • Other student loans are generally private student loans. The most common private student loans are offered by banks. Their interest rates are often variable, which means your interest rates and payments could go up over time. Private loans can also be more expensive – rates have been as high as 16% over the past couple of years. And when it is time to repay, private loans don’t offer as many options to reduce or postpone payments. Check carefully all the terms and conditions.  
  • Each county has Workforce Investment Board programs that can offer federally-funded assistance for continuing education and job training; these programs serve eligible youth, dislocated workers and adults changing careers.  Programs have many different names and are traditionally known as SuperJobs, OneStops, or Career Centers; see below for local links.
Student Aid Resources

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

(Student Aid)

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Shopping for College: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/paying-for-college/

GoCollege.com grant information

(Student Aid)

Site with some advertising content, has a good listing of college grants: http://www.gocollege.com/financial-aid/college-grants/

College Score Card

(Student Aid)

Schools are all different, so make sure to choose a school that meets your needs and is worth your investment of time and money. The federal government has recently released a school ratings system to help you evaluate the tradeoffs between tuition, graduation rates and ties to long-term employment. Use the college score card, collegeboard.com and gocollege.com as starting points.
– US Department of Education College ScoreCard: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/
– College Board  (nonprofit) www.collegeboard.com

US Department of Education

(Student Aid)

Information about college completion support from the US Department of Education College info: http://www.ed.gov/college-completion

Workforce Training Program Locator

(Student Aid)

American Job Centers can help you look for work and offer job search workshops, free computer access, and more.  Learn about vocational and skills training and education with a Workforce Investment Act service locator for all states (US Department of Labor): http://www.servicelocator.org  (US Department of Labor)

FAFSA.gov

(Student Aid)

Learn more about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),  and apply at: https://fafsa.gov/  (US Department of Education)

Ohio Benefit Bank (Budgeting)

If you live in Ohio, you can access free tax and FAFSA prep assistance using the Ohio Benefit Bank. This is available to you 24 hours a day online through the self-serve version, or you can contact sites near you to set up an appointment. The Benefit Bank completes both federal and Ohio returns for free for anyone earning less than $60,000. You can use it to efile and arrange for direct deposit of your refund. Call 800-648-1176.