Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial Aid and Scholarship Opportunities
Financial Aid is money for educational expenses for college or career school, and is a critical piece of the college application process.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
Every student applying for college should plan on completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. By completing this application, colleges are able to provide you aid in order to make college affordable. The FAFSA opens on October 1st. We encourage families to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to ensure you are meeting the priority deadlines of your schools, allowing you access to as many grants and scholarships as possible.
Types of Aid:
- Scholarships – Free money that students qualify for based on either need or merit, or a combination of the two. While they are typically based on academic merit, there are scholarships available based on interests, hobbies, religion, ethnicity, etc. All Scholarships that the guidance department is aware of will be posted in the scholarship list in Naviance.
- Grants – Often referred to as “gift aid,” grants do not have to be repaid.
- Loans – all loans taken out must be repaid with interest
- Work Study – Money earned by a student at their work study job, often on campus, helps the student pay her/his educational expenses. This money does not have to be repaid.
Many students and families have questions regarding scholarships. Our hope is that all students will apply to many different scholarships, and our goal is to help you all in this process as much as possible. A great tool that students can use is our online college and career platform, Naviance. Once logged into their accounts, students can navigate to the “Colleges” tab, and then scroll down to the section on scholarships. There is a national scholarship search as well as a listing of local scholarships. The “National Scholarship Search” link will allow students to create a profile of their personal information, which will then generate a list of applicable scholarships that they may apply to. The “Scholarship List” is a compilation of all of the scholarship information that we receive in the guidance office from local businesses and organizations, as well as some national scholarships. This list will continuously be updated throughout the year as we receive notification of new scholarships. Please note that the “Scholarship List” feature tends to be scholarships only open to senior applicants.
Additional locations to look for scholarships include:
• College and University websites
• US Department of Labor Scholarship Tool: https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx
• NYS Higher Education Services Corporation: https://www.hesc.ny.gov/