Financial Aid

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid refers to specific borrowed, given, or earned money that can be obtained from various sources to help pay for college. In order to be considered for financial aid, such as loans, grants, and work-study opportunities, eligible students and families MUST complete the FAFSA!


The FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. ALL eligible students need to complete the FAFSA in order to be considered for financial aid. This form is used to determine how much money a family can contribute toward paying for college and trade schools. Colleges will then use this information to determine which financial aid programs you qualify to receive. Remember, you must be a U.S. Citizen to complete the FAFSA.

How to apply:

1. Go to NOT as soon as possible after OCTOBER 1ST of the student's Senior year!

*Don't forgot that Lake County offers numerous workshops to assist students and families in completing their FAFSA.

What's Next?

1. Once FAFSA has been completed, look out for the SAR (Student Aid Report), which summarizes the family financial information. This report indicates how much a family can contribute toward the cost of college and if the student qualifies for any grant, loan or work-study programs. **IMPORTANT** Check for accuracy and report any errors!


2. Once colleges receive your SAR, they will begin to create your financial aid package if you have been admitted to their school. Send in any additional documentation that your school requires.

*Note, some schools require you to complete the CSS Profile*

CSS Profile: Additional Financial Aid form that some colleges require (more detailed information than the FAFSA). This often takes into account assets and other financial commitments.

3. Wait for financial aid award letter from your schools ' Each college decides how much of your financial need will be met by loans, grants, scholarships or work-study. Even though each college you list on the FAFSA receives the same information, they will package their awards differently depending on the financial situation of each college. For example, private schools can often offer more money than public state schools.

4. Set up meeting with financial aid office at school you are considering ' Discuss financial aid programs they have, additional scholarships or grants they offer, and options for financing your education, especially if grants and scholarships do not cover the full cost of tuition...

In addition to completing the FAFSA, students should be searching for various scholarships that they may be eligible for to further offset the cost of college. There is money out there-students just need to look! Students at Waukegan High School can apply for national, state, or local scholarships, which are typically offered by local organizations only for students that attend Waukegan High School or surrounding high schools. Additionally, students should apply for scholarships offered by their college of choice, as many of these colleges encourage students to search their websites for scholarships specific to their schools!

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