Student financial aid comes in many forms. An estimated two-thirds of college students receive some type of financial aid to enable them to go to college. The Department of Education provides federal financial funding to programs that make money available to aspiring college students accounting for over half of the available financial aid money. College is a lot more accessible to almost anyone because of student financial aid. Every person should apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which will give you an idea of how much federal aid you are eligible to receive. Shopping around for the best deal on loans is a very prudent idea to lock in the lowest interest rate as possible.

Student financial aid covers a spectrum of sources. Although the number one source of financial aid is supposed to be family this is not always enough money to cover all costs. For many students family funding is not an option, which makes other forms of financial aid crucial to a person's ability to attend college. The secondary sources of financial aid are loans, grants, work study programs, back to work incentives, job retraining, and scholarships. Most college students leave school with a significant amount of student loans whether they borrow from the government or via personal banks loans. Every year there is a considerable amount of scholarship money that is not claimed. Scholarships are a great source of student financial aid and should not be overlooked by any student.

When considering what type of student financial aid is going to serve you best for your college experience, consider all of your options. You can get a lot of your college paid for by combining different types of aid. Don't forget to check into aid that is based on your circumstances, such as student financial aid offered for women, single parents, people of a minority group, sexual orientation, income status, and so on. Your college financial aid department is a wealth of information on different types of aid and scholarships. Usually they have folders that are full of available grants and scholarships. Ask them for credible application sources. Don't forget big companies when applying for scholarships. Big store chains and companies often host competitions and offer money for college.

Students who are returning to college often have different types of student financial aid available. Because they are in different categories they can be eligible for different types of assistance, such as special assistance from the state or the unemployment department. When considering going to college and applying for financial aid it is incredibly important to think about whether or not your future employment will earn you enough money based on your degree. In other words, is your college degree worth a university education price? Some people do not need four to six year college degrees to do quality work making good money at their job of choice. Oftentimes trade schools and Associate Degrees or Certificates are solid education choices at a much better price. It is usually much easier to get into one of these schools and, although it is still necessary to receive student financial aid to complete school, you do not rack up such a huge debt.