When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’re giving the college(s) of your choice a snapshot of your family’s current financial situation, enabling them to develop a plan for your financial aid ‘package’. That package may contain aid from:
- The Federal government
- The State of Oklahoma
- The institution you wish to attend
- Tribal, non-profit and private organizations
One thing that’s not listed here is a tuition waiver. So, what is a tuition waiver and how does it affect the cost of attending college?
A tuition waiver differs from a scholarship; while a scholarship is a cash award that helps you pay for various college expenses, a tuition waiver reduces the amount the college charges you. The waiver will eliminate the cost of tuition for a designated number of credit hours, but it can’t be used for any other educational expense. While there can be many reasons a school might grant a waiver, here are some of the most common:
- Your family income demonstrates a high financial need
- You are of Native American descent
- You’ve overcome a significant hardship
- You were adopted, or you were a foster child
Each college and university has its own policy regarding who meets the qualifications for a tuition waiver. Call your institution’s financial aid office to see what waivers the campus may offer and how to qualify for them. Asking a simple question could save you money.