Financial Aid for College Study

Copyright © 2013 Karl M. Bunday, all rights reserved.

Federal Financial Aid Requirements in the United States

It is not necessary to have a high school diploma to enter, nor is it necessary to have a diploma to obtain financial aid for higher education. It also is not necessary in most instances to take the General Education Development (GED) high-school-study equivalency test to enter college, and never has been, although some schools formerly imposed this requirement routinely on homeschooled applicants. Some schools are confused on this issue because of the Department of Education requirement, established by congressional statute, that students receiving federal financial aid for college must show ability to benefit from instruction. That ability to benefit from college instruction is assumed for all applicants with a high school diploma or GED. But ability to benefit can be shown by obtaining a required score on any one of several tests. Each test score is considered equivalent to graduating in the top two-thirds of a typical United States high school class by the Department of Education. A participant in a college tips discussion board [link to a different Web site] kindly referred me to a useful on-line statement about this issue, which has since been updated. The current Student Financial Aid Handbook published by the federal government makes clear in Section 1: School-Based Requirements [link to a different Web site], which tests may be used to demonstrate ability to benefit from attending postsecondary school. Those tests include the ACT [link to a different Web site] test that many students take for college entrance anyway. Take whichever test is convenient to you. The postsecondary school to which you apply should have its own paper copy of The Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook, which is now available on-line to anyone around the world who has access to the World Wide Web and software to read .PDF files. If you haven't seen the federal financial aid application form, called "FAFSA," you can now get it on the web [link to a different Web site] to see all the latest required information.

Readers interested in colleges in Britain are encouraged to check the site of the Higher Education Funding Council [link to a different Web site] for information pertaining to the United Kingdom.

Web Links for More Information about College Financial Aid

The number-one recommendation of Susan Richman of Pennsylvania Homeschoolers [link to a different Web site], a columnist for Practical Homeschooling [link to a different Web site] magazine, is the FinAid! The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid [link to a different Web site] site by Mark Kantrowitz. The site includes financial aid calculators and other resources to explain the financial-aid application process. It is acclaimed in several on-line reviews as the best place to look for comprehensive information about money for college study.

A reader of this site suggested FastWeb [link to a different Web site] as a good source of individualized scholarship searches. Besides the scholarship search service, with its database of scholarships and grants, the site now has links to online college applications.

College Quest
Site with test preparation software, a personal organizer, search for accredited colleges and universities, scholarship database, and discussion groups, by the publishers of the Peterson's college guides.

Site to encourage students to get a head start on the admissions process, starting in eighth grade, so they think through what high school courses to take and the types of colleges they would like to attend, the better to be competitive for receiving scholarships.

The site features a month-by-month planner and articles about financial aid.

Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae is the name of a United States federal program providing funds for educational loans, mostly federally guaranteed student loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
Please let me know of other on-line resources you have found helpful.

[Financial Aid for College Study last revision 02 November 2000]

Please share your suggestions for homeschooled young people about finding financial aid for college with me, so I can share those suggestions with other readers on this page. [mailto link]
Karl M. Bunday
Minnetonka, MN 55345

Please write with your comments, especially with information about scholarships, grants, and other forms of student financial aid! I really appreciate your comments. All E-mail to the Web master [mailto link] with a valid return address receives an immediate, automated reply with answers to the questions readers have most frequently asked me about this site. Please note that my E-mail address in the link on this page is protected against robots collecting addresses for junk E-mailers by adding the characters "%20" before the actual E-mail address in all my E-mail links. You can simply remove those characters from the beginning of the address line on your E-mail program if they appear on the address line, to ensure you send E-mail to the real Web master address for this site. You can usually get fast and helpful answers to specific questions about education policy, homeschooling, or other issues brought up on this site from public discussion groups where many people participate, because "in multitude of counselors there is victory."

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This School Is Dead: Financial Aid for College Study page is copyright © 2013 Karl M. Bunday, all rights reserved.

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.
John Stuart Mill On Liberty (1859)
Feel free to contact the Learn in Freedom™ site owner, Karl M. Bunday, at any time. Fill out this site's Google Docs comment form or email or send postal mail to the Learn in Freedom webmaster as you like. [mailto link]
Karl M. Bunday
P. O. Box 1858
Minnetonka, MN 55345