Money Talk

Financial Aid: A Guide to Paying for College

Attending college is an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to paying for it. Fortunately for West Hills College Students, most classes are free. However financial aid is available to help students cover the cost of other expenses such as fees, books, housing, and more. In this guide, we'll provide an overview of financial aid and how to apply for it.

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is funding provided to students to help cover the cost of attending college. It can come in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Grants and scholarships are typically "free" money that does not need to be repaid, while loans must be repaid with interest.

Types of Financial Aid

  • Grants are a type of financial aid that do not need to be repaid. They are typically awarded based on financial need and can come from the federal or state government, as well as from the college or university.
  • Scholarships are also "free" money that do not need to be repaid. They are typically awarded based on academic achievement, talent, or other criteria.
  • Loans are a type of financial aid that must be repaid with interest. They can come from the federal government, private lenders, or the college or university.
  • Work-study is a type of financial aid that provides students with part-time jobs on campus. The earnings from these jobs can be used to help pay for college expenses.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

  • Start by submitting an admissions application to West Hills College. You can find the online application on their website. Without an admissions application on file, your financial aid application cannot be processed. 
  • Next, create an FSA ID through the FSA ID website. This unique identifier will be used to verify your identity and sign your federal student aid documents.
  • Finally, complete the FAFSA or DREAM Act application. If it's your first time, select "Start Here." Returning users can choose "Log In." Don't forget to include West Hills College on your application to ensure they receive it. For FAFSA completion, you'll need your FSA ID, and for the DREAM Act, you'll need your login information.

Paying for the expenses that come with college can be a daunting task, but West Hills College and financial aid can help make it more manageable. By understanding the types of financial aid available and how to apply for it, students can take advantage of the resources available to them. With a little research and preparation, students can make their college dreams a reality.

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