Sachem North High School
Financial Aid Information
Applying for Financial Aid
To apply for financial aid, colleges require students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and may be completed on or after January 1st of the student's senior year. In order to file the FAFSA, both students and parents will need a pin number, which can be obtained at www.pin.ed.gov. This pin serves as the electronic signature for the student/parent when completing the FAFSA online. To determine what other information/documents you will need in order to file the FAFSA, you may reference the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet. Note that there is no fee for filing the FAFSA or obtaining a pin number. Please note that many colleges have deadlines for filing the FAFSA and it is best to apply early to maximize your chances of receiving financial aid.
Some colleges may require students to file the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA. The CSS Profile is made available by the College Board and asks for some additional financial information needed by the college to determine your financial aid package. You should only file the CSS Profile if the college requests it, so be sure to reference the list of schools requiring the CSS Profile and read all information mailed to you by the college. Note that a fee is required for processing the profile. For additional information, check out the Student Guide to the CSS Profile.
Types of Financial Aid
Financial aid comes in many different forms. When you receive your financial aid package from the college, it will generally consist of a combination of the following types of aid:
- Scholarships - Merit-based awards that a student may earn based on academic, athletic, musical, or artistic achievement. These awards do not need to be paid back. Many scholarships require the student to maintain a certain academic standard (such as a minimum GPA requirement, etc.) in order to be maintained. Some scholarships may be renewable, meaning that the scholarship could remain in effect beyond the first year of school provided that the student continues to meet the guidelines set forth for the scholarship. Others are non-renewable, meaning that they are only offered as a one-time award to the student. Scholarships are often available from individual colleges, as well as from outside sources, such as community organizations and corporations. In fact, Sachem publishes a monthly Scholarship Newsletter with many scholarship opportunities for students.
- Grants - Awards based on financial need. Grants are also awards that do not need to be paid back. They may be offered by the federal or state government, as well as by individual colleges. Some types of grants are listed below:
- Loans - Monies that must be paid back. Loans may come in the form of student loans or parent loans and are usually federally funded. Some types of loans are: Federal Perkins Loans, Stafford Loans, and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
- Work Study - Work study is a federally funded program that provides job opportunities (usually on campus) to students with financial need. There are usually limits on how much the student can earn per semester and placement is limited.
Remember, it is important to apply as close to January 1st as possible to maximize your chances of receiving financial aid. Be aware of individual college's deadlines and follow up immediately on any correspondence mailed to you by each school. Some other helpful web sites are available on the Helpful College Links section of our web site.
To help parents prepare for the process, Sachem also runs a Financial Aid Night in November for the parents of college-bound seniors. Check the school calendar or contact the Guidance Office for more information on this workshop.