Financial Aid

There are four types of financial aid that are available to students. They are grants, scholarships, loans and the work-study program. The definitions of the different types of financial aid offered are listed below:

  • Grants - Grants do not have to be repaid. The federal government, state and colleges provide grant funds for students attending colleges, including career colleges and universities.
  • Scholarships - Scholarships are grants or payments made to support a student's education, awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement.  In order to received scholarships, one must apply for them.  Scholarships do not need to be repaid.
  • Federal Work-Study - Federal Work-Study is self-help aid and is awarded to students with financial need. Students can work part-time to earn this award money. The money earned can be used to help the student with their additional tuition cost as well as personal cost. Work-study jobs can be found on or off campus through the school’s Financial Aid Office.
  • Loans - Federal loans are borrowed funds that must repaid with interest. A federal student loan allows students and their parents to borrow money to help pay for college through loan programs supported by the federal government. They have low interest rates and offer flexible repayment terms, benefits, and options.   There are several types of loans, so make sure you have all of the necessary information about each particular type of loan available to you.

Each student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application before the college can award the student financial aid.  The financial aid office at the college you want to attend will use the information on the FAFSA application to determine the amount of federal and institutional grants and loans you are eligible to receive. Our office hosts a number of evening FAFSA Completion workshops throughout the area starting in January to help you and your parent complete the FAFSA application.  You should also check with your school counselor to find out if they are hosting FAFSA nights at your high school.

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) The Pennsylvania State Grant Program is a financial assistance program that provides funding to eligible Pennsylvanians and helps them afford the costs of higher education.


Student Loans Information


Before borrowing money for college, you should gather all of the necessary information in order to make an informed decision.  There are many websites online that offer free information and resources.  A few of those sites are listed below.

Federal Student Aid - Students and parents can explore the site for information about the Direct Loan Program, including helpful publications and tools to help manage their Direct Loans.

The College Board - Big Future -  The more you know about college loans — what’s available, where to find them and how they work — the easier it will be for you to choose the right one.

FAFSA4caster is a free financial aid calculator that gives you an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid. This information helps families plan ahead for college.

Financial Assistance for Computer Science Majors


According to a 2016 report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, computer science graduates are poised to enter their field with the second highest average salary among bachelor's level disciplines.  That’s why we at BestColleges.com have curated a scholarship and financial aid resource for those students pursuing a degree in computer science.

Scholarships for Computer Science Majors guide takes a look at college financing options for CS majors and includes:

  • A look at federal student aid
  • A glimpse into the field of computer science
  • $500k in featured and segmented scholarships