Future Focus: Applying for Financial Aid

Applying for Financial Aid:

By Christine Parke, UH Mānoa Student

There is over $150 billion in financial aid given away each year. With so much student aid available, there is no reason that you shouldn’t apply for as much as possible. There are different types of financial aid that you can apply for including federal aid – such as grants, loans, and work-study funds as well as private aid primarily in the form of scholarships. Grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid; work-study funds are earned and go directly toward paying for college; and loans need to be repaid including any added interest. For more information on types of financial aid click here.

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which must be filled out in order for students to receive aid from the federal government or state of residence. FAFSA forms are currently available as of January 1. The FAFSA should be completed online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. Make sure to turn in your FAFSA as soon as possible in order to have the best chance at receiving federal aid. There are many free workshops offered for students and parents who need help in filling out the FAFSA. Students and families should plan to attend a College Goal Sunday workshop on Jan. 13 (Oahu, Hilo, Kauai, Maui) or Jan. 20 (Kona) - click here for specific locations. There are also free Native Hawaiian Scholarship ‘Aha presentations available to students, families and anyone interested in learning more about sources of financial aid available to Native Hawaiians. Please visit our upcoming events page for the most current information and dates of upcoming financial aid workshops on all islands.