Every document a student needs when applying for financial aid is covered in a detailed, easy-to-understand and comprehensive manner in the CTP WORKBOOK . This 100-page workbook is available for FREE for all CTP Member Students. The following article is an excerpt taken from page 58-59 of the CTP Workbook.
Many students find it difficult to finance their education at an American university. This is because the total cost of attendance is quite a lot of money. This is where financial aid comes in. Financial aid is a term that stands for the aid students receive from the university itself in financing your education. Some universities might cover your entire costs of attendance, some only partially, and others, not at all. This is why it is important to do thorough college search prior to applying. If you are looking for a school which can provide you with financial aid, then you shouldn’t waste time working on applications for a university that doesn’t fulfill your criteria!
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID?
Depending on the university, you may receive different types of financial aid.
MERIT-BASED FINANCIAL AID
This kind of financial aid is offered to you based on your GPA or other merits that you have. Different schools have their own type of merit-based awards. However, most times, merit-based financial awards cover your cost of attendance only by part. At most universities that offer merit-based financial assistance, you are automatically considered for a merit-based award when you apply.
NEED-BASED FINANCIAL AID
Need-based financial aid is a kind of financial aid that the university awards you with, not based on your specific merits, but entirely because you need it. It works in a way that enables you to show the university how much you can pay and then the rest is covered by the university itself. If you cannot pay a large amount of your cost of attendance then it is recommended for need-based financial aid.
FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION DEADLINES
Each university has its own deadline for financial aid application. For some, it may be the same as your Common Application deadline and for others a fortnight or a month later. Therefore, it is critical to find out the financial aid deadlines of the colleges you are applying to. Missing deadlines may jeopardize your chances of receiving financial aid.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID?
Financial aid, like the college application process, has many processes. Part of these includes filling out and submitting important financial forms. Based on the university you are applying to, you have to fill out certain forms that clearly show your family’s financial background. You will also be required to provide Employer statements if your parents are employed by an organization. It is important to note that tax-returns are not filed in Ethiopia. So whenever you stumble upon a question that asks you about your tax return, explain that tax returns are not required in your country. “