When most people ask the question, “Is financial available for homeschool students?” they are interesting in learning about what financing offers are available for individuals who received a homeschool education equivalent to graduating high school and are now preparing to enter college. The simple answer to this question is that there are definitely a number of financing offers available to individuals who achieved the equivalent of a high school degree via a homeschool program.
College Admission Requirements
Before any consideration of financial aid is made, it is essential that any prospective college student be cognizant of the exact requirements for admission from a given university. Every school of higher learning has their own unique admission requirements so be sure to consult with their admissions department to learn whether your home school education qualifies, how to document your education, and other aspects of admission.
In almost every case, it is necessary to secure admission to college before a prospective student can begin the process of acquiring financial aid. Of utmost importance is understanding that a prospective student can only receive financial aid if they apply fr it.
Government Financial Aid
The standard government route of obtaining financial aid on the federal level is known as FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Almost every student eligible to study at an institution of higher learning in the United States can qualify for FAFSA financial aid, including individuals with a homeschool education.
The minimum requirements for FAFSA financial aid include:
- Be either an American citizen or a non-citizen eligible to study in the United States
- Have a valid Social Security number (with a few exceptions)
- If you’re male and between age 18-25, you must be registered with the Selective Service
- You can’t already owe money to the federal government for a student loan or grant
- Prove that you need financial aid
- Be enrolled in a college or accepted for enrollment
For proof of a homeschool educations, the federal government defers to the state government in question. To document the validity of your homeschool degree, you’ll have to consult with the state where you reside for more information about what kind of paperwork is needed to qualify for federal financial aid.
The FAFSA form can be completed online, by paper (and then mailed into the Department of Education) or over the telephone.
Stafford, Pell, Perkins and the Federal Work-Study Program
Federal financial aid is available in several forms for homeschooled individuals who qualify. These include:
- Pell Grant – A grant (does not need to be paid back) of up to $5,775 for eligible students for one academic year.
- Stafford Loan – The most common form of federal financial aid, Stafford Loans come with a fixed rate of interest (currently 4.29%) and all interest payments are suspended until the student graduates or drops out of college.
- Perkins Loan – Comes with an interest rate of 5% and is similar to a Stafford Loan except that the Perkins is only available for students enrolled in a Title IV institution of higher learning.
- The Federal Work-Study Program – A special program that hels fund educational studies for individuals enrolled in a part-time work program.
Congress is regularly updating the exact details of federal loan programs so be sure to check with the Department of Education for the latest details.
While not a financial aid process involving the federal government, the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile is used by many institutes of higher learning in order to determine eligibility and award financial aid to students.
Completing FAFSA and applying for federal financial aid is free but most universities require payment to complete a CSS profile. Some universities mandate that all students complete a CSS profile while other universities follow different policies when determining eligibility for financial aid. Consult with each university’s admissions department for more information on their prerequisites.
Private and State Sources
Many individual states have their own forms of financial aid programs for residents. Alaska, Georgia, North Dakota, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Maine, among other states, have both special savings account plans for university students as well as guaranteed special financial loans available for qualifying residents. For more information about state-run loans and financial aid programs, consult with your state’s Department of Education.
Thousands of scholarships are offered every year from corporations, philanthropic organizations, wealthy individuals, religious groups, and community organizations for students, including students with a homeschool education, to pay for tuition and enrollment costs of college.