Guidance » Financial Aid Information

Financial Aid Information

Financial Aid Process

ICHS will host a Financial Aid Night for 11th and 12th grade parents. We strongly encourage parents to attend in order to go over the information below.


What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money that can help you pay for college. Some aid needs to be paid back or earned, and some aid is a gift.



You can and should apply as early as October 1 through The FAFSA is always free!

You should request a FSA ID in order to sign the FAFSA form. You can apply for a FSA ID at You should do this before October 1 so that you have it ready to complete your FAFSA. You no longer have to wait until January 1 to file your FAFSA.

There are four main sources of financial aid:

  • Federal government (the largest source)
  • Colleges and universities
  • State governments
  • Private organizations

You have to apply to qualify for financial aid.

If you don’t fill out financial aid forms, you won’t get any aid. Even if you think you may not qualify, you should still submit the forms.

 Types of Aid:

  • Grants and scholarships: money you don’t have to pay back


  • Work-study jobs: paid, part-time work that’s generally on campus


  • Loans: money you need to pay back, usually after you graduate (6 months grace period)


CSS Profile:

The CSS PROFILE short for the College Scholarship Service Profile, is an application distributed by the College Board in the United States allowing college students to apply for financial aid. It is primarily designed to give private member institutions of the College Board a closer look into the finances of a student and family. W CSS Profile costs a fee, varying from year to year.

 There are over 400 colleges that require applicants to complete the CSS Profile in addition to completion of the FAFSA.

The CSS Profile can be completed ASAP.


 Merit Based vs. Need Based Aid:

Merit includes a variety of categories: academic, artistic, athletic etc.

Scholarships are the most common type of merit–based aid (though some do have a need based component).

 Federal student aid is need–based. Eligibility is based solely on the assets and income of the prospective student and his or her family. Families are encouraged to search through the resources below for more information on aid.