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Understand Financial Aid

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Financial aid is an option for students and student athletes seeking higher education. Not every student athlete receives a scholarship, and even if a scholarship is granted they often still don't cover the full cost of attendance.
Financial aid is there to help make up the difference between what your family can afford and how much attending school will cost you and your family.  
The first step to receiving financial aid is filling out your FAFSA. 

What Is FAFSA?

When Should I Begin FAFSA?

What You Will Need for FAFSA

  • Your driver's license​
  • Your W-2 Forms and records of money that you have earned over the years.
  • Your untaxed income recoreds such as worker's comp, child support earned or veterans benefits.
  • Your current bank statements, business and investment mortgage information, stock, bond and other investment records. 
  • Your Social Security Number 
  • Your Federal Income Tax Return (and your spouse's if you are married). 
  • Your parent's Federal Income Tax Returen (if you're considered a  dependent). 
FAFSA is an application that you submit to the U.S. Department of Education's federal student aid programs. You also use FAFSA to apply for funds from you school or state. Colleges use this form to determine your eligiblity for federal, state and college sponsored financial aid, so it's very important you fill it out correctly! 
If you aren't getting a a full scholarship to a college, you should apply for FAFSA. FAFSA is not requried in all states, but it is highly recommended that you complete the form regardless of your financial situation as many states require FASFA for you to be eligible for an athletic scholarship.  
You can begin FAFSA at any point in your high school career since you can save your draft online for later.  Starting January 1st of your senior year of high school you can officially apply, and the sooner you apply the better as FASFA forms are evaluated on a first come first serve basis. Getting your application in as early as possible would be advantageous for you and your family. 
Go to your high school advisor to get more information on FAFSA and begin your online application at the FAFSA website .


You will Receive Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? 

You Will Receive the Student Aid Report (SAR)

You will receive either a paper or electronic document that summarizes the financial information you provided on FAFSA. This is your Student Aid Report or SAR.
When you receive this, make sure that all of the information on the document is correct. This is very important as colleges use this information to figure out how much financial aid you are eligible to receive. If something has changed recently that you need to change on your FAFSA, login to the FAFSA website and click "Make FASFA Corrections" as soon as possible. 
The Expected Family Contribution or EFC is easily the most important number in your SAR. This number tells you the amount of money that the government believes you and your family can contribute to the cost of your education in the coming year. The lower your EFC, the more financial aid you will receive.
If your EFC number is $3,000 and the cost of tuition is $10,000, this means that the government believes you and your family are able to pay $3,000 dollars for your education and you may be eligible to receive $7,000 in financial aid.  


This type of aid comes from the Federal Government. These include loans, grants and work-study funds. You must do FASFA to be eligible for this type of aid. 
Aid comes from individual colleges & universities. These are typically grants, scholarships or work-study programs but it varies greatly depending on the college.
Aid comes from private corporations, religious/ cultural/ professional and/ or servce organizations. These are usually in the form of scholarships or loans. 
Aid comes from state governments who offer grants, scholarships, work-study funds, state loans and tuituion assistance. 







Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity (Federal Aid)

Federal Pell Grant (Federal Aid)

These are awarded
to undergraduate students with significant financial need. They are typically administered directly by the financial aid offices at participating school and institutions. 
These are typically offered to undergraduate students who have not yet received a bachelor's degree. Your personal financial need, the cost of attendance and other factors will determine how much aid you will receive. 
Grants are a type of financial aid that don't have to be repaid. These can be offered by the federal/state government or institutions. These can be student specific, need-based or merit-based and the competition for these is very strong since they don't need to be repaid. Examples of student-specific grant could be grants for minorities, women, etc.. 
Work study programs provide part-time jobs to college students and graduate students to help them earn money to pay for school. These are federally funded jobs that are on campus or at other approved locations. The types of positions range from positions in the career center, student center, residence halls, athletic departments and others. Position openings differ depending on the school.  


Stafford Loan

Perkins Loan

Parent or

Private Student Loans

This is a need-based loan known for having low, fixed nterest rates and requires no collateral. This type of loan is specifically designed for students who are unable to pay for college but are likely to be employed upon graduation. To be eligible for this loan you must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours a semester.  
This is a school-based loan that is designed specifically for undergraduate or graduate students with exceptional financial needs. The interest on this loan is low at 5% and students receive the loan in at least two payments a year. Though your school is the lender, the loan is made with government funds with a limit to the maximum amount you can borrow. You must start making payments 9 months after you graduate and you have 10 years to pay back the loan in full.
These are loans designed for graduate or professional students or the parents of dependent students who do not have sufficent funds to pay for higher education. The payments for this loan are the responsibility of the parent, not the student. Any payment past due will be the parent's responsibility. If you are a parent receiving the loan, generally you are expected to begin making payments once the loan is fully paid out. If you receive a loan as a graduate or professional student you do not have to make any payments while still in school and for at least 6 months after you graduate. 
These are nonfederal loans made by lenders such as banks, schools, credit unions, etc.. Many families turn to these types of loans when federal loans aren't enough and they need more payback options. This type of loan is intended to fill the space between the loan you received from the government and the remaning cost of higher education that the loan did not cover. These types of loans should be a "last resort" for students and their families as they offer far less protection for students such as fixed interest rates and forgiveness programs.   
Loans can be offered by the federal government, and private institutions. This type of financial aid you borrow and pay back with interest in order to attend college. This option is appealing to many students and their families because loans provide immediate access to funds that help cover the costs of college.