Financial aid is any source of funds accessible to assist students in paying for the costs of a college education. If you think you will need support beyond your own financial resources, whatever your family situation, you are encouraged to apply for financial aid.
Most financial aid is based on verified financial need and requires the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal and state grants, loans, and work-study are all need-based programs.
Scholarships are based on academic merit. You do not have to show financial need to receive money through merit-based programs. Aid is phrased to be gift-aid or self-help. Gift-aid includes grants, scholarships and tuition assistance. Self-help aid includes work-study and loans that require the student to work or borrow.
You may apply for financial aid via the Internet and complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) (Get it Now!). To be eligible for the Maine Student Incentive Scholarship Program, FAFSA’s must be received at the Department of Education no later than May 1.