What Financial Aid Program is Offered in Your State?
When most students apply to college, they also apply for financial aid. This is because the cost of a college degree can be very expensive, and many families need help covering the costs. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that 85% of full-time college students receive some kind of financial aid.
If your family will be applying for financial aid, you should realize that federal aid isn’t the only option available to you. In fact, nearly every state education agency has a grant or scholarship available to residents. Many states even have a long list of student aid programs. These financial aid programs operating on the state level are usually, but not always, restricted to state residents attending a college in-state.
To learn more about the options that might be available to you in your state, keep reading.
State Education Agency Financial Aid Programs
|State||Types of Aid Available||Program Description|
|Alabama||Loans, Grants, and Scholarships||Multiple programs available sponsored by state agencies such as the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the Alabama Department of Labor, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts . Awards and deadlines vary.|
|Alaska||Loans, Grants, and Scholarships||One need-based grant program and one merit-based scholarship. Loans are also available. Scholarships and grant awards up to $4,755. Deadlines vary.|
|Arizona||Grants and Loans||Need-based grants up to $2000 per year. A forgivable loan up to $7000 per year is also offered to support students entering a career in teaching. Deadlines vary.|
|Arkansas||Grants, Scholarships, and Loan Repayment Programs||Ten different programs, many for students pursuing careers in the teaching or STEM fields. Awards valued at up to $6000 per year. Deadlines vary according to each specific program.|
|California||Grants and Scholarships||Four different grant programs with various requirements including minimum GPA and demonstrated financial need. One scholarship program specific to middle class students. Awards and deadlines vary according to each program.|
|Colorado||Grants, Work Study Program, and Tuition Assistance Programs||Need-based grants, part-time employment program for students with demonstrated need, and tuition assistance programs for dependents of law enforcement officers, fire or national guard personnel killed or disabled in the line of duty, and active or veteran service members. Award amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Connecticut||Scholarships, grants, and loans||Merit-based scholarship, and need-based grants and loans available to CT residents. Scholarship amounts up to $5,250 per year and grants up to $4,500. Deadlines vary.|
|Delaware||Scholarships, incentive loans, and tuition assistance programs.||13 state-administered scholarships, plus incentive loan programs for students pursuing specific fields of study. Scholarship deadlines between March and June. Awards vary.|
|Florida||Grants, scholarships, and work study program.||Eight state-administered scholarships with various standards for eligibility. Some merit-based, some need-based. Work study and grants available for students who demonstrate financial need. Amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Georgia||Loans, scholarships, and grants.||Merit and need-based programs for GA residents along with low interest student access loans and specific financial aid programs for students pursuing a military career. Awards amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Hawaii||College and career readiness portal with scholarship and financial aid search engine, but no specific state-funded resources.||A state-hosted scholarship search engine allows students to filter by grade and scholarship deadline, but does not filter according to state of residence. The scholarship search includes national scholarships along with privately funded state scholarships. Awards amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Idaho||Scholarships||Idaho classes all of its assistance as scholarships, but separates scholarships into merit-based, need-based, and dependent scholarships. Dependent scholarships are available to students who are the dependents of service men or women in the armed forces or public safety fields. Scholarship amounts vary, deadlines begin in March.|
|Illinois||Grants, scholarships, and prepaid tuition program.||The Illinois Student Assistance Commission funds five scholarships for IL residents. Four are reserved for students entering specific fields of study and one is for dependents of service members who were MIA/POW. Need-based grants are also available, along with a prepaid tuition plan which allows parents and grandparents to avoid tuition inflation by prepaying at today’s rates.|
|Indiana||Scholarships, grants, and work-study program.||Various scholarships available, both need-based and merit-based. Grants available mostly to students who intend to pursue careers in teaching. Need-based work study program also available. Awards and deadlines vary.|
|Iowa||Scholarships, grants, and loan repayment programs.||Need-based scholarships and grants. Loan repayment programs for students who enter specific career paths. Amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Kansas||Scholarships and grants||Need-based scholarships and grants, available mostly to students pursuing specific career paths. Deadlines beginning April 1 each year. Award amounts vary.|
|Kentucky||Grants and scholarships||The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority uses lottery proceeds to fund a need-based grant program, the merit-based Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) program and the KHEAA Teacher Scholarship. Award amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Louisiana||Grants, scholarships, and college savings programs.||Need and merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, and state 529 programs. The most widely recognized program is the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) that provides scholarships for residents at most in-state colleges. Deadlines and award amounts vary.|
|Maine||Grants, scholarships, loans, and tuition waiver programs||Merit-based scholarships and loan forgiveness programs, mostly aimed at future teachers or medical professionals. Tuition waiver programs for former foster children or children of public servants killed in the line of duty. Deadlines and amounts vary.|
|Maryland||Need-based grants and various scholarships||Need-based grants available, merit-based scholarships, career-based scholarships, and unique population scholarships. Award amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Massachusetts||Grants, tuition waivers, loans, and scholarships.||Need-based and merit-based programs, some are available to part-time students and others only to full-time students. Many can be used at private universities. Some can be used out-of-state. Deadlines and award amounts vary.|
|Michigan||Grants, loans, and scholarships||Grants and scholarships for students with financial need. Some reserved for students who have experienced foster care or are the children of public servants. State funded low interest loans also available. Deadlines and amounts vary.|
|Minnesota||Grants, work study program, and loan repayment programs||The Minnesota Office of Higher Education offers grants and loan repayment programs for those with financial need. A database of scholarships at institutions in Minnesota is also available. Awards and deadlines vary.|
|Mississippi||Grants, scholarships, and loan repayment programs.||Need-based grants and scholarships available. Loan repayment programs for students who enter careers in teaching or nursing. Award amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Missouri||Grants and scholarships.||Need-based and merit-based awards available. FAFSA should be filed by April 1. Award amounts vary.|
|Montana||Scholarships and loan repayment programs.||Montana does not offer state-funded financial aid, but the Montana University System offers merit scholarships and loan repayment programs for students who go into nursing or become rural physicians.|
|Nebraska||Grants||Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education offers three grant programs: one for high school students, one for postsecondary students, and one for community college students. Average award of $1,306. Deadlines vary.|
|New Hampshire||Tuition waivers and scholarships||New Hampshire has tuition waivers for students in foster care. Students can also apply for an independently funded scholarship through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.|
|New Jersey||Grants and scholarships||Extensive listing of available grants and scholarships. Most are need-based. Amounts and deadlines vary.|
|New Mexico||Grants, loans, scholarships, and work study||Need and merit-based scholarships. Most reserved for residents of New Mexico, but some available to out-of-state students. Loans programs for students pursuing specific career paths including nursing, physician assistants, and teaching. Deadlines and award amounts vary.|
|New York||Tuition assistance program, grants, and scholarships.||Merit and need-based scholarships. Need-based grants. Tuition assistance programs for eligible NY residents attending approved schools in New York State. Amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Nevada||Scholarship, savings plans, and prepaid tuition programs||Need-based scholarships, tax incentive savings plans, and prepaid tuition plan which allows parents and grandparents to avoid tuition inflation by prepaying at today’s rates. Scholarship amounts vary.|
|North Carolina||Grants and scholarships.||Need-based grants and scholarships funded by the state. Also an extensive listing of private scholarships including need-based, merit-based, and special-circumstance available to North Carolina students. Amounts and deadlines vary.|
|North Dakota||Grants, scholarships, and loan forgiveness programs.||Need-based grants up to $1,100 per semester. Need and merit-based scholarships. Tuition and fee waivers for students meeting certain special circumstances. Loan forgiveness for teachers in shortage areas and specific STEM fields. Amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Ohio||Grants and scholarships||State-funded grants and scholarships available, based on a number of varying factors. Some factors considered include: areas of study (such as teaching, science, engineering, technology, math and medicine), academic merit, financial need, military status, and more. Amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Oklahoma||Grants and scholarships||Need-based Oklahoma’s Promise grants cover tuition at public state universities or partial tuition at select private schools. Various need-based scholarships also available. Awards and deadlines vary.|
|Oregon||Grants and scholarships||Oregon Promise Grant and Oregon Opportunity Grant are both need-based, state funded grants. The Promise Grant is reserved for students attending community college. Scholarships also available, with one application serving all state-funded scholarships. Awards and deadlines vary.|
|Pennsylvania||Grants and work study program.||Need-based state-funded financial aid programs. Deadline of May 1 for degree programs or college transferable programs at a 2-year private college or other college or university. Award amounts vary according to need.|
|Rhode Island||Student support services||The Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner hosts a website that provides extensive FAFSA support and links to the New England Board of Education’s Tuition Break Program, which provides discounts to New England students.|
|South Carolina||Grants and scholarships||The South Carolina Commission on Higher Education provides a number of need-based scholarships and grants for residents. Award amounts and deadlines vary. Remedial courses are excluded.|
|South Dakota||Scholarships and reduced tuition programs||Various need- and merit-based scholarships available. Amounts vary, deadlines as early as February 1. Reduced tuition programs also available to students entering specific career fields or meeting other criteria.|
|Tennessee||Scholarships, grants, and loans||Various grants and scholarships, most funded by the state lottery and available to students who meet the specific requirements for each. Deadlines and amounts vary.|
|Texas||Vouchers, grants, and scholarships||Grants and scholarships for students who meet specific criteria, especially those who have served in the armed forces. Vouchers available to youths aging out of foster care. Amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Utah||No state-funded programs.||Many university-specific grants and scholarships still available. FAFSA priority deadlines as early as March 1.|
|Vermont||Grants, scholarships, and loans||Need and merit-based scholarships. Need-based grants. Extensive database allows users to search state-funded resources, federal resources and school-specific resources. Award amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Virginia||Grants||Grants based on financial need and other qualifying characteristics. Some consider merit. Award amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Washington||Grants||The State Need Grant program awards financial aid based on need to students attending participating institutions. Awards up to $9,745 at public research universities. Deadlines vary.|
|West Virginia||Scholarships, loans, and grants||Need- and merit-based awards for residents enrolled in a number of different educational programs. Specific scholarships available to students pursuing teaching, the medical fields, and STEM fields. Award amounts and deadlines vary.|
|Wisconsin||Grants, scholarships, loans, and tuition reciprocity programs||Need and merit-based awards, most of which can be used at both public and independent institutions. Award amounts and deadlines vary. In-state tuition reciprocity with Minnesota and limited options in Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan.|
|Wyoming||Grants||Need-based grants, some of which consider future career paths. Award amounts and deadlines vary.|
What Else Do Students and Parents Need to Know About Financial Aid?
Federal and state-funded financial aid are only two resources available to students. Families should also look for institutional aid and private scholarships. Many colleges offer substantial financial aid packages including grants and work study programs. Some colleges even promise to cover 100% of a family’s demonstrated financial need, guaranteeing packages that cover the difference between the family’s expected contribution as calculated by the FAFSA and the college’s cost of attending.
It’s also important to know that not all financial aid is equally as desirable. While grants, scholarships, and work study programs all help to ease financial burdens without incurring further debts, loans must eventually be paid off and can represent a significant financial burden to graduates who are just starting their careers.
Where to Learn More
For more help navigating the process, don’t miss these CollegeVine resources:
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