Financial Aid 101: What is financial aid and how do I apply for it?

Financial Aid 101: What is financial aid and how do I apply for it?

Financial Aid is money to help you pay for college. It can be in the form of grants, scholarships, student loans, parent loans, employer reimbursements, veteran’s benefits or vocational rehabilitation benefits and work study programs.

Financial Aid comes from a number of places:

  • The US Federal Government
  • Your state
  • Your college
  • A nonprofit or private organization

Everyone qualifies for some type of financial aid. Not all financial aid is grants (aid that doesn’t have to be repaid).

Student loans are part of financial aid that you must repay with interest; whether you complete your degree/certificate program or not.

To apply for financial aid you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. You can apply online at You may or may not need parent information on your FAFSA.

The FAFSA runs on an award year that starts on July 1st and ends on June 30th so you may be required to renew your FAFSA during your program.

FSA image

The FAFSA determines your eligibility for Federal Student Aid (grants, loans, work study) and can also determine your eligibility for aid from your state government.

Your school might offer additional aid including scholarships. Visit your school’s financial aid office to inquire about what type of aid your school offers.

DEC offers both institutional and non-institutional scholarships you can find information about and download the applications right here.

DEC will send you an award letter letting you know your financial aid eligibility after your FAFSA is received if you’ve included our school code (013957) on it.

Once you receive your award letter you can contact the school and go over your eligibility to start planning your financial aid package at DEC!

For any questions email Kim Myers at!

CONNECT WITH US and see what students and faculty are up to!