Funding the Future

What's Next?

A Family's Guide to Financial Aid

Did you know that you may be eligible for financial aid? And even if you think you aren’t, it’s smart to apply for it. Get the facts about financial aid.

The prospect of applying for financial aid can seem intimidating—especially the first time. But the financial aid process is not as difficult as you think. All it takes is time, and a little organization—We're here to help!

How it All Works~Financial aid packages can contain any combination of the three basic types of aid: loans, grants and work-study:

  • Loans may come from the federal or state government, from the college itself, or from other sources. They must be paid back by you or your child (depending on the type of loan). One common type of loan, the Stafford Loan, is subsidized by the federal government. As a result, your child doesn't have to begin making payments on this type of loan until several months after he or she is out of college.
  • Grants or scholarships may also come from the government, the college, or other organizations. They are gifts and don't need to be paid back. Need-based grants are based solely on your child's financial need. Merit-based grants or scholarships may be given to students who have special talents or achievements in some area (such as academics, sports, music, or leadership). Merit scholarships are not limited to students who have financial need, although they could make up part of the financial aid package for students who do have need.
  • Work-study requires your child to work part-time at an on-campus job once he or she arrives on campus. This aid is given directly to your child in the form of a paycheck. Usually, it is up to your child to find a work-study job—although the financial aid or other office will often help to place students.

Please Join Us! Tumwater High School Financial Aid Night~

Thursday, Feb. 4th, 5:15-8pm

700 Israel Road Southwest

Olympia, WA

Have more questions? Would you like the chance to network with financial aid professionals? Please join us, and other college financial aid experts from area colleges, to discuss what you can expect moving forward toward financing your continuing education.


Dinner & Free child care will be provided!

Other Financial Aid Resources

English~Spanish Glossry of Student Financial Aid & Postsecondary Education