How to Get Started
Start with FAFSA
You’ll notice pretty quickly, almost all financial aid opportunities will require that you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Meet With Your Counselors
You should meet with the Financial Aid offices at your UWs. They are great at helping you navigate your financial aid options. And, if you’re still in high school, your high school counselor is a great person to talk to about finding grant and scholarship opportunities in your community.
Types of Financial Aid
Scholarships are awarded based on your academic achievement or other specific criteria. Scholarships don’t need to be paid back. It’s like free money. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be necessary for many scholarships. Please be aware that you should never pay for scholarship opportunities.
Loans are money that you borrow, usually from the government, that not only needs to be paid back but will include interest. You will need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out which loans you are eligible to receive.
National Community Service Programs
Community service jobs like AmeriCorps can provide stipends for education in exchange for a commitment to serve in your community after graduation.
Grants are money given to you — typically based on financial need, and usually by the government — that you don’t have to pay back. You will need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to find out if you’re eligible for any grants.
While in college, you may consider getting a job on campus. Federal Work-Study (FWS) provides the opportunity to possibly get a part-time job easier for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. You will need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you’re eligible for Work Study programs.
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)
ROTC programs offer more than military training and experience. Participants in Army, Air Force, or Navy-Marine ROTC programs may be eligible for scholarships and monthly stipends while serving their country.