Almost all countries are experiencing economic slowdown nowadays, and this is not only applicable to the US. One indication of this is that people are losing their jobs. Another important indication about our economic slowdown is that students have difficulty in continuing with their education because they don’t have the financial capacity to do so. Having said that, for students, financial aid is very important for them to continue with their education. Some institutions give college grants and school scholarships. This aid is sometimes referred to as college aid or federal aid. This aid refers to the funding given in helping students pay their education expenses, and included in the expenses are their tuition and fees, books, supplies, room and board, etc. for education at a college or a university or a private school.
There are two different kinds of aid, namely merit based and need based financial aid. Merit based may include scholarships that are given to students because of academic excellence or talent. Compared to the other form of aid, merit based is given without taking into consideration the student's financial capacity. An example of such aid is athletic scholarships given to students who have excelled in sports like baseball and others. Some colleges and universities consider all the students for merit scholarships.
Need based aid is awarded on the basis of the financial need of the student. Unlike merit aid, that does not consider the financial capacity of the student, the need aid is based solely on the student's financial situation.
There are many systems that allow you estimate or calculate your financial aid eligibility, including online calculators. This calculator requires pieces of information and sometimes, this estimator requires a PIN, etc. If you are not aware of this kind of system, then you can visit the office of the university where you are planning to be admitted and inquire about it for you to have a clear understanding of the matter.
You may also want to resort to the Internet on this matter. Mind you, the Internet provides you with pieces of information that will be very helpful for your college education aid. The Internet also gives you the different websites that can allow you to automatically calculate your college aid by just inputting some pieces of information.
In these different systems, you will be asked to indicate whether you are financially independent or dependent. Sometimes these websites use a check box for you to easily answer their queries. Another important thing that you should indicate when you are completing a financial aid calculator is to know how much you might expect to pay toward college costs. Here, you will input your financial information. The third thing that you should be aware of is to know how much it might cost you to attend different colleges. Here, you will need to select a state and college and specify if you will live in your own home or on the campus.
Financial aid calculators or estimators may differ from one college to another, but the only common thing that they have is that their goal is to help students calculate their financial aid eligibility to finish their educations so as not to add to the unemployment that is not happening in the US alone but throughout the world.