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Financial aid 101

by Ed Ventura | Feb 22, 2018

Edited by Susan Sullivan | February 22, 2018

Do you think college is not part of your future because it is too expensive? Do you worry about being saddled with student debt?

We believe an outstanding college education doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, many of our students find attending Marian University is more affordable than earning a degree from a state school.

No matter what college you choose, we recommend you educate yourself about financial aid and your financial aid options. There are more scholarships, grants, and programs to help you pay for your bachelor’s degree than you might think!

How does financial aid work?

Financial aid is money that is provided to help you pay your tuition and college-related expenses, like books, supplies, and housing.

  • Many students receive federal and state financial aid. But financial aid may also be offered to you by universities and colleges..
  • In addition, many students are awarded private scholarships from community organizations, civic and professional associations, corporate enterprises, sports clubs, parent employers, and churches or religious groups. Even if they are only for a few hundred dollars, these types of scholarships add up and can make a big difference.

The most accurate and reliable source of information about financial aid is studentaid.ed.gov. You’ll find an array of tips, tools, and videos on this website, which is a service of the U.S. Department of Education.

Another good source of information is your state’s higher education website. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education, for example, publishes great  information about state aid programs.

What types of aid are available?

In general, the key to receiving financial aid is to (1) search and apply for all of the scholarships, grants, and funding opportunities you can find for which you are eligible and (2) submit your application well before the due date.

Federal Pell Grants, educational opportunity grants, teacher education grants, grants for Iraq and Afghanistan service, and more are available through the U.S. Department of Education.

  • To determine if your eligible for these and other benefits, complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) every year you are in college.
  • Be aware that there is a state deadline for completing the FAFSA. You’ll find them posted on the FAFSA website.
  • Submit your completed materials as early as possible.

Scholarships are typically based on individual merit, while grants are based on other factors, like your academic accomplishments, volunteer work, athletic or talent-based skills, or your faith. Most states offer at least one grant or scholarship to students from that state who choose an in-state college

  • Indiana offers a number of scholarships and grants, like the 21st Century Scholarship, Frank O’Bannon Grant, Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship, Adult Student Grant, as well as special financial aid opportunities for teachers and nurses. See what your state offers!

Unlike loans, scholarships, grants, work-study funding, and related types of “gift” aid do not require that you repay them.

  • When you’ve exhausted all sources of federal and state aid as well as private scholarships, student loans can help you manage the balance of your expenses. Just remember that loans must be repaid.
  • A good source of student loans is the federal government. Private student loans are another option, but tend to be more expensive.
  • Educate yourself about the differences between federal and private student loans.

What aid does Marian University offer?

Over 99 percent of Marian University students receive financial aid. In addition, the university offers academic scholarships, faith scholarships, talent-based scholarships, grant, and other financial assistance.

Our Office of Financial Aid is here to help you find ways to afford a great education. Find out more about how to apply for financial aid or contact us with questions


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