Financial Aid: FAQ – BigFuture (2024)

Resources to help you pay for college.

Learn More

Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid

There are billions of dollars of financial aid available to students who need help paying for college. If you want this assistance, it’s important that you determine your eligibility and apply on time.


How many college students get financial aid?

Millions of students receive financial aid each year. In 2021-22, undergraduate and graduate students received a total of $234.6 billion in student aid in the form of grants, Federal Work-Study, federal loans, and federal tax credits and deductions.

Read more

Can I afford to go to college?

Despite the news stories about rising college prices, a college education is more affordable than most people believe. Many colleges provide an excellent educational experience at a price you can manage. Public college prices are much lower than you might expect, and many private nonprofit colleges provide generous grants and scholarships to offset published costs.

Read more

Does applying for financial aid hurt my chances of being admitted?

You’re usually admitted based on your academic performance and the qualities you bring to the campus community. Colleges want to admit a diverse group of students and often use financial aid to achieve that goal. It’s crucial that you apply for financial aid early in the application process before all of a college’s funds are allocated.

Read more

Do I qualify for aid even if I don’t get straight A’s?

It's true that some scholarships are awarded based on academic performance. However, most financial aid is based on your family’s financial information provided on an aid application, typically the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Read more

Are private colleges out of my reach?

Although the cost of college may be a crucial factor for you, focus instead on finding a college that’s a good fitone that meets your academic, career, and personal needs.

You don’t have to rule out “expensive” schools. Keep in mind that private colleges usually offer generous financial aid to attract students from every income level. Plus, financial aid can come from different sources such as scholarships, grants, and loans. So think about net price (not published price), and don’t be afraid to apply to colleges you think you can’t afford.

Read more

Is my family’s income too high to qualify for aid?

Financial aid is intended to make a college education available to students from different financial backgrounds. Family income, the number of family members in college, medical expenses, and other factors may be considered when determining your financial aid eligibility. Even if you think your family income is too high for you to qualify for aid, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form determines your eligibility for federal and state student grants, work-study, and federal loans.

The best way to get an estimate of how much financial aid a college will offer you and therefore how much you’ll really pay to go to that college is to use the college’s net price calculator. Colleges provide these tools on their websites. Net price calculators give you an estimate of your net price for a particular college (i.e., the cost of attendance minus the gift aid you might get). Learn more about net price.

Read more

Should I consider working while I’m attending college?

Each student should consider their financial situation and the weight of their studies. Students who choose to work a moderate amount often do better academically. You may find that working a campus job related to your career goal is a good way to manage college costs, get experience, and engage with the university community.

Read more

Can I try to get my aid award revised?

Some colleges are willing to review your financial aid package if your financial situation changes. Consider discussing these changes with the financial aid office if your family has experienced an unexpected decrease in income or increase in expenses since you applied for financial aid.

Read more



FAFSA Application

FAFSA Application

  • Go to FAFSA

Related Articles

Resources to help you pay for college.

Learn More

Related Articles

Financial Aid: FAQ – BigFuture (2024)


How often does BigFuture award $500 and $40000 scholarships to sophom*ores and juniors for completing college and career planning steps? ›

Scholarships for $500 and $40,000 are awarded monthly until February of your senior year. Completing any step enters you in the drawings on the first day of every month.

Does BigFuture actually give scholarships? ›

Earn entries in monthly drawings for $500 and $40,000 scholarships by completing the six qualifying steps on BigFuture. If you don't win, your entry rolls over for the next month.

Will I lose my financial aid if I fail a class? ›

Pell Grants also require satisfactory academic progress, and your school sets that standard. If you fail a class, then you may lose your grant or need to pay it back.

What happens after I accept my financial aid award? ›

Generally, your school will give you your grant or loan money in at least two payments called disbursem*nts. In most cases, your school must give you your grant or loan money at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter).

Do you pocket extra scholarship money? ›

If you've received scholarship funds that are greater than your cost of tuition and fees, oftentimes your college or university will send you a refund for the leftover money. Depending upon the terms of your scholarship, you can use these funds for another education-related expense.

How many people win the Big Future scholarship? ›

There will be over 4,000 scholarship winners and more than $3 million given to students. The more steps you complete and the sooner you start, the more chances you have to win $500 and $40,000. 400 Winners 100 Winners Entry Window 50 Winners Half of the scholarships are reserved for lower-income students.

How do I see if I won the BigFuture scholarship? ›

Every month, when students earn a $40,000 or $500 scholarship, each student recipient will receive an email to the address associated with their College Board account notifying them that they have won that month and the amount of their scholarship.

What is the BigFuture scholarship for 2024? ›

About the Scholarship

BigFuture Scholarships: Start Your Career List (Class of 2024) is available to current high school seniors. Students who save a list with three or more careers will earn entries into monthly drawings for $500 and $40,000.

What is the hardest scholarship to get? ›

Rhodes Scholarship - The Rhodes Scholarship was instituted in 1902 to sponsor brilliant academic students in their various fields. Fulbright Scholarship - The Fullbright scholarship was established to honor a past senator of Arkansas, Senator J. Williams.

What disqualifies you from getting financial aid? ›

Individuals who owe a refund on a grant made by a federal student aid program under Title IV of the Higher Education Act; Individuals in default on a Title IV loan; Individuals incarcerated in prison; and. Individuals convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs.

What GPA do you need for Pell Grant? ›

The Pell Grant has no minimum GPA; it is a purely need-based grant! That means that as long as you demonstrate need through the FAFSA and have gained admission to a college, you will qualify.

Do I have to pay back Pell Grant if I fail? ›

Do I have to repay my Pell Grant if I fail a course? If you fail a course, you will not have to repay the Pell Grant that you took out for it. Although failing a course can have drastic effects on your GPA and hurt your transcript, it will not require repayment of any Pell Grant funds.

Do you have to pay back financial aid if you drop out? ›

Federal financial aid regulation states that if you withdraw from all of your classes or cease enrollment prior to the 60 percent point of instruction in any term, you will be required to repay all unearned financial aid funds received.

Can you ask for more financial aid after accepting? ›

If you don't feel you've been given enough financial aid, you can always ask for more. Maybe your family's finances have changed, or maybe you have a better offer from another school you can use to negotiate. In such situations, you can submit an appeal letter requesting additional financial aid.

Do you get leftover financial aid money? ›

If you have financial aid remaining after the college applies it to your tuition and other required expenses, it will disburse the remainder to you. Schools must issue the remaining amount to you within 14 days unless you authorize your school to keep the money to pay for future charges.

How often do people actually win scholarships? ›

Over 1.7 million scholarships are awarded annually; however, only 7% of college students will receive a scholarship. On average, first-time undergraduates who receive government grants and scholarships at a 4-year college receive about $14,890 annually.

How do you know if you won a big future scholarship? ›

Every month, when students earn a $40,000 or $500 scholarship, each student recipient will receive an email to the address associated with their College Board account notifying them that they have won that month and the amount of their scholarship.

How much does the average student win in scholarships? ›

According to the Education Data Initiative, around 25% of college students have some sort of partial scholarship to help pay for school. The average scholarship amount is $5,000 to $10,000 annually. These scholarships are typically available through the college you are planning on attending.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated:

Views: 6051

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.