Types of Aid
Students at Meredith receive financial assistance from a variety of sources, including the state and federal government, outside donors, the College itself, and private lenders. Generally, these funding sources can be broken into three categories, which include scholarships, grants, and loans.
Scholarships are funds offered to students that do not have to be repaid and are typically offered based on a student's academic performance, major of study, talent, or leadership potential. Some scholarships may consider a student's financial need based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but many are awarded without consideration for financial need. Scholarship eligibility requirements and application processes vary depending on the donor source and the type of the award. To learn more about available scholarships, please visit our scholarships page.
Similar to scholarships, grants refer to aid given to students that does not have to be repaid, provided that the student meets the eligibility criteria. While the terms "grants" and "scholarships" are often used interchangeably, grants typically refer to aid that is given based on a student's financial need according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Grants cannot usually be applied for separately and are awarded by the College automatically when a student applies for financial assistance. If you are interested in learning more about the types of grants considered when the College reviews a student's FAFSA, please visit our grants page.
Loans are funds that may be used to fund a student's academic expenses that must be paid back to a lending institution. All students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are automatically eligible to receive a limited about of Federal Direct Stafford Loans from the Department of Education, regardless of financial need or credit history. All Federal Direct Stafford Loans offer a fixed rate of interest and no payments are due on the loans until after the student finishes school or ceases to be enrolled at least half time.
Parents wishing to borrow funding in addition to the Federal Direct Stafford Loan should consider applying for a federal Parent PLUS Loan, which also offers a fixed rate of interest and the option to defer payments until after the student finishes school or ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Parents may apply for any amount up to the cost of attendance at Meredith, but approval is subject to a credit evaluation. Students whose parents are not approved to receive a PLUS loan may receive an additional amount of Direct Stafford Loan funding with proof of a Parent PLUS Loan denial.
Students wishing to borrow funding in addition to the Federal Direct Stafford Loan may apply to private lenders for additional educational loans. These types of loans are referred to as "alternative" loans and will most often require a student to apply with a credit worthy cosigner. Interest rates for alternative loans are variable and will change over the life of the loan based on market conditions. Starting interest rates will vary by lender and are based on the credit evaluation of the cosigner or the primary borrower if a cosigner is not needed.
To learn more about loans, please visit our loans page.