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Financial Aid 101 Large
Paying for college is an investment in your future. While navigating financial aid can be complex, we have some tips and resources to help. Prospective and current Horned Frog families can find more information and schedule an appointment with the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships on their website

Financial Aid Terminology

Cost of Attendance (COA)
This is an estimate of the total expenses for attending school for one academic year. The Department of Education determines what can be included in COA and this estimate includes direct and indirect expenses:

Direct expenses are billed by TCU and include tuition, fees, and room and meal plan for on-campus students. Indirect expenses include books and supplies, transportation, other education costs (loan fees and miscellaneous expenses) and room and meals for off-campus students. The indirect cost will vary from student to student.

Net price
Net price, includes your out-of-pocket costs for college and can be calculated by subtracting the total scholarship or grants offered from the cost of attendance. We suggest using direct costs to calculate net price, so you can compare financial aid offers and out-of-pocket expenses among different colleges you're applying to. Use TCU's net price calculator to get an estimate of what a first-year, undergraduate student can expect to pay.

Types of aid

Main sources of aid include federal, state, colleges and private foundations. Find more information about types of aid offered at TCU:
  • Scholarships are financial awards given to a student on the basis of academic achievement and promise. At TCU, applicants are automatically considered for academic scholarships.
  • Grants are based on financial eligibility and do not require repayment.
  • Loans must be repaid, typically with interest, after graduation.
  • The Federal Work-Study Program is a federally funded need-based employment program available to eligible undergraduate students. In order to be awarded Work-Study, you must file the FAFSA and demonstrate financial need eligibility based on federal guidelines. Once students start classes, they can search for on-campus positions through our FrogJobs system.
Financial Aid Applications
There are two financial aid applications that TCU uses for aid: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. We encourage completing both forms early to maximize your opportunity for federal and institutional aid. Institutions with higher costs may offer more aid, so we recommend comparing net cost for colleges on your list.

The FAFSA application determines your family's eligibility for federal and state aid, including grants and loans. Families must fill out the FAFSA annually and information from the FAFSA will be shared with schools designated by the student. Texas residents ineligible to complete the FAFSA can complete the TAFSA.

The CSS Profile application is required for institutional grants. This form is administered by College Board and provides a more comprehensive picture of a family's finances. Data reported from the CSS Profile helps us to better understand a family's financial need and offer support where we're able to. It also allows you to share special situations that may affect a family's ability to assist with their student's college costs. The CSS Profile or alternatives that other schools may use, provide access to institutional funds, helping lower your net price.
To find the answers to more questions, check out our Facebook Live Q&A: Financial Aid & Scholarships Pt. I and Facebook Live Q&A: Financial Aid & Scholarships Pt. II.