MDC News Special Report

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HELPING YOU PAY FOR COLLEGE

Financial aid is money that government and other organizations give or lend in order for a student to be able to pay for college.

To qualify for financial aid, you first have to apply. Financial aid covers educational expenses such as tuition, fees, room & board, books, supplies, and transportation.

Financial aid is provided from many sources which include the federal & state governments, colleges and universities, private organizations, businesses, banks, and lending companies.


TYPES OF AID

Get addition details on how financial aid works and how to apply.

GRANTS

Grants are called “gift aid” because they do not have to be paid back. Grants come from federal and state governments and from colleges. Most grants are need based, which means they are usually awarded based on your or your family’s financial circumstances.

  • The Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG):
  • The FSAG grant is a need-based grant program available to degree-seeking, resident, undergraduate students who demonstrate substantial financial need and are enrolled in participating postsecondary institutions.

  • Florida Resident Access Grant Program (FRAG):
  • The FSAG grant is a need-based grant program available to degree-seeking, resident, undergraduate students who demonstrate substantial financial need and are enrolled in participating postsecondary institutions.

  • Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program (ABLE): 
  • The ABLE grant provides tuition assistance to Florida undergraduate students unrolled in degree programs and eligible private Florida colleges and universitites. students who demonstrate substantial financial need and are enrolled in participating postsecondary institutions.

  • First Generation Matching Grant Program (FGMG):
  • The First Generation Matching Grant Program (FGMG) is a need-based grant available to degree- seeking, resident, undergraduate students who demonstrate substantial financial need, and are enrolled in eligible participating postsecondary institutions. Eligible students have a parent(s) who has not earned a baccalaureate or higher degree.

  • Pell Grant:
  • A federal grant for students who need the funds to pay for college. Eligible students receive a specified amount each year.

SCHOLARSHIPS

Scholarships come from many sources. They are usually awarded on merit depending on different criteria. Some examples for providing scholarships include excellence in academics, athletic ability, and volunteer work. Browse available scholarships on MDC’s Financial Aid website.

  • Bright Futures:
  • The Bright Futures program is a Florida Lottery funded scholarship that allows Florida high school seniors with significant academic merit to earn a scholarship to any public or private college/university in the state.

    A note on Bright Futures: The state legislature has slowly cut back on the amount of funding provided for this scholarship. They have also raised the eligibility requirements, making it more difficult for students to meet the qualifications. The legislature has the power to change the rules of how this scholarship is given out every year while in session.

  • American Dream Scholarship (ADS):
  • The American Dream Scholarship covers the in-state portion of tuition for two years of courses (60 college-level credits) for all Miami-Dade high school graduates who qualify. The program is a vital safety net that picks up where other aid and scholarships leave off, ensuring that bright, qualified students have the means to continue their education. Learn more about the American Dream Scholarship.

LOANS

A loan is money that a student borrows. It may come from different sources such as banks, the government or a lending company.

  • Loans must be paid back with an extra charge called interest.
  • The federal government offers low-interest loans to students with financial need.
  • Lenders other than the federal government charge more interest.

A note on loans: Currently there is a national student debt crisis. There are many students graduating from colleges and universities carrying a large debt without the immediate ability to pay for it. Fortunately, that is not the case for the majority of Miami Dade College graduates. Most MDC graduates (about 93%) leave the College debt free.