Financial aid helps students by covering higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Different types of aid are provided through various sources, such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations, to name a few. The amount of aid a student receives depends on federal, state, and institutional guidelines.
All students seeking financial aid should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). When students submit the FAFSA, they automatically apply for aid from the federal government, the state, and the college(s) they listed on the FAFSA form. Students should contact their college’s financial aid office to confirm that the FAFSA form has been received and what other aid they may be eligible to obtain.
Sources of Financial Aid
Federal Financial Aid
Financial aid is available from the federal government via grants, loans, and work-study funds. Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and several other factors such as U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizenship, enrollment in an eligible program, satisfactory academic progress in college, and more.
Return to Title IV
Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) authorizes programs that provide financial assistance to students in obtaining a postsecondary education at certain institutions of higher education (IHEs). Under the HEA Title IV, all students receiving Title IV federal grant or loan assistance who withdraw from the institution in the first 60% of the term are subject to the Return of Title IV Fund policy. This regulation affects the calculation of aid to be returned as well as repayment procedures. The percentage of aid earned by a Title IV student is determined by calculating the percentage of the period the student completed.
If the student completes up to 60% of the term, the aid earned percentage equals the completed period. If the student completes 60.01% or more, the student earns 100% of the aid. A portion of the Title IV funds (Pell Grant, SEOG, Direct Loan, Unsubsidized Direct Loan) awarded to the student must be returned if the student completes less than 60% of the term.
The calculation of the return of these funds may result in the student owing a balance to the college or the United States Department of Education.
It is the student’s responsibility to withdraw from all classes officially.
- All students should complete the FAFSA
- Types of Federal Aid Programs
- Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant
State Scholarships & Grants
The Florida Department of Education Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) can help students attain information and apply for state financial aid. In addition, according to Florida statute, students may also be eligible for tuition and fee waivers and exemptions (hyperlink Tuition & Fee Waivers and Exemptions page here).
- All students should complete the FAFSA
- Florida Student Scholarship & Grant Programs
- Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
- State of Florida Tuition & Fee Waivers
Institutional Financial Aid
Many colleges offer financial aid from their own funds. Each Florida College System institution has its own unique procedure for awarding financial aid. Working with the individual college is the best way to understand how financial aid works at your intended college.
Here are some helpful tips:
- All students should complete the FAFSA.
- Visit the college’s financial aid website.
- Contact the college to ask about any available scholarships in your particular area of study or department.
- Be aware of any financial aid deadlines the school may have.
Additional Information & Resources
Relevant Florida Statutes
- 1009.25 - Fee exemptions
- 1009.26 - Fee waivers
- 1009.40 - General requirements for student eligibility for state financial aid awards and tuition assistance grants
- 1009.41 - State financial aid; students with a disability
- 1009.50 - Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Program; eligibility for grants
- 1009.505 - Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant Program
- 1009.53 - Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
- 1009.531 - Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for initial awards
- 1009.532 - Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program; student eligibility requirements for renewal awards
- 1009.77 - Florida Work Experience Program