For most families, affordability will play a significant role in the college process; whether it’s at the front-end when narrowing the potential list, or the back-end when it comes to selection time. Before the close of the 11th grade, students and parents/guardians need to have frank discussions about the amount of money that the family is willing and able to contribute to the cost of post-secondary education.
Although some colleges and universities offer “merit-based aid” or scholarships based on merit or talent, most financial aid awarded by colleges is based on demonstrated family financial need. This is called “need-based aid.” Because of the discrepancies in financial aid awards from one college to the next, students seeking need-based aid are urged to apply to a variety of colleges, including both public and private ones.
Be aware of the following points when researching financial aid policies at specific institutions:
• Use the online calculators to gain a sense of what that institutions family contribution towards the cost of attendance will be.
• Caution! A family that receives financial aid from Kiski does not automatically qualify for aid in college. Many Kiski families are surprised that the level of financial support received from Kiski is not the same as that offered by some colleges.
• International Students: There are extremely limited funds available at most colleges in the United States for international students who require financial aid, and competition for these funds is intense. International students who require aid should consult with their college counselors at the earliest opportunity. Permanent residents need to have “green cards” and alien registration numbers in order to qualify for federal financial aid consideration.