Financial aid is money received as a result of filing FAFSA® and is meant to cover the cost of attending college. This means that financial aid pays for tuition, room and board, books, school supplies, and any other expenses related to the cost of going to school.
Room-and-board refers to housing, which means that your financial aid can cover both on-campus and off-campus housing.
First, check with your school
Every school has a different process and definition of Cost of Attendance. If you’re concerned that your school doesn’t cover housing, ask the financial aid office.
Generally, if you plan to live on campus, room and board are including in the cost of college. Things get a little more complicated when students transition to off-campus housing. But still, there are ways to use some of your financial aid funds for housing.
Then, keep track of your aid
In some cases, aid that is left over after paying for college credits is used to cover the rest of the tuition. If this isn’t the case, you’ll likely have to use your aid “refund” to cover any additional expenses.
Make sure to track your aid so you know where it’s going and how much is left over to help you with other expenses.
So, in short, the answer is yes, financial aid can be used to cover your on-campus housing.
If the financial aid you receive is not enough to cover your housing expenses, you can appeal to the school’s decision requesting more aid. Many students who do not get enough aid in the form of grants and scholarships get extra support through student loans.
Be careful only to take out what you need, as loans do accrue interest, and you’ll pay more in the long run, so don’t borrow more than you need.