College Preparation

College Preparation

Deciding to go to college is a huge step in a young person’s life. You want to make sure you choose the right school, location, program of study and figure out how to pay for it!  We can help you explore these options as you decide what path is best for you. Below you will find information on local options as well as information on how to pay for your education.


Free Application for Student Aid.

Types of financial aid

Federal Student Aid offers several different types of financial aid. The four most common types of aid students are offered from the federal government as a result of completing a FAFSA are:

  • Pell Grant– A grant of up to $5,815 (as of the 2016-17 Award Year) for students with a low expected family contribution.[14] A 2016 NerdWallet study found that students missed out on $2.7 billion in free federal Pell grants by not completing the FAFSA.[15]
  • Stafford Loan– As of July 1, 2015, any Federal Direct subsidized loan will have a fixed interest rate of 4.29% and the interest is paid by the government while the student is enrolled at least half time. The Federal Direct unsubsidized loan also has a fixed interest rate of 4.29% and accumulates onto the outstanding balance.[16]
  • Federal Perkins Loan– A loan that is like the Stafford but is lent directly by schools that are Title IV-eligible. Interest rate is fixed at 5%.[17]

The Federal Work-Study Program – A program where students can get part-time work, up to a certain amount. In most cases, the federal government pays half of a student’s wage and the school pays the other half.

Financial Aid

FinAid was established in the fall of 1994 as a public service. This award-winning site has grown into the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools — on or off the web.

Access to FinAid is free for all users and there is no charge to link to the site.

FinAid has earned a stellar reputation in the educational community as the best web site of its kind. It’s comprehensive, it’s informative, it’s objective — and it’s the first stop on the web for students looking for ways to finance their education.  Go to for a wealth of information.

Local Colleges

Christopher Newport University

Hampton University

William and Mary

Norfolk State University

Virginia Commonwealth University

Paul D. Camp

Thomas Nelson Community College

Tidewater Community College

Richard Bland College