Many students attend a college or some type of vocational school during the summer. With so many expenses associated with going to college, students are continually applying for and seeking financial aid. Depending on the type of aid received, the student may be able to spend the funds on his or her own for school-related expenses, including books, tuition, housing, or supplies, or the school itself may directly receive the money and apply it to the students' bill. There are different types of financial aid that can be accessed for the summer sessions in the United States, which include federal grants and loans, private loans, scholarships, and school-funded assistance.
The most advantageous type of financial aid for summer school is federally funded grants because they do not have to be repaid as long as the student maintains a satisfactory academic status. The grants are provided to students on a need basis, meaning that the student must provide proof of financial need. In order to be considered for federal funds in the United States, a student must fill out the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA). The application can be found online or at a student’s local high school guidance office and/or the college's financial aid office. Once the form has been filed, the application will be reviewed and the student's financial aid status will be determined.
Federal loans are another type of financial aid for summer school for which students may be eligible. These types of loans are usually simple to qualify for, as they are not based a student’s past credit history. There are two different types of federally funded loans — subsidized and unsubsidized — both which can be applied for by filling out a FASFA form. The subsidized loans are based on a student’s financial need, but the unsubsidized loans are not. The difference between these loans is that the subsidized loans do not accrue interest while the student borrower is in school, whereas the unsubsidized loans do.
If a student has exhausted or cannot qualify for any type of federally funded loan, he or she still has the option to access funds through private student loans. These types of financial aid for summer school tend to be accompanied with higher interest rates than federally funded loans. Many times, even if a student obtains federal loans, he or she may still obtain a private student loan to cover any school expenses that the federal funds do not cover. There are a multitude of private student loan lenders, and, with a quick search on the Internet, a person can easily obtain a list of lenders.
Some colleges offer their own financial aid for summer school. The assistance may come in the form of a grant, scholarship, or loan. Any time students are attending classes during the summer, they should contact their school’s financial aid office to see if any type of financial assistance is offered through the school.