2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122
Financial Aid is any source of funds available to assist students with paying for the costs of a college education. If you think you will need assistance, you are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Whatever your family situation, you can be sure that you will be treated fairly and equitably.
Most assistance is based on demonstrated financial need; however, some are based solely on merit. Merit programs, including most scholarship programs, help students who have special abilities. Often, you do not have to show financial need to receive money through merit-based programs.
There are four main types of financial aid: Scholarships, Grants, Work-Study and Loans. Usually, a student is offered a combination of aid (known as an award "package") from these four programs which are a combination of Merit Base and Need Base Aid:
Merit-Based vs Need-Based Financial Aid
As you’re learning more about financial aid, you’ll hear the terms need-based aid and merit-based financial aid. Understanding how this aid is awarded and what type of financial aid is available to you will help you determine how to pay for your college tuition and other school costs.
Many students assume that all financial aid is based on financial need. However, there is a variety of college money available based on your academic merits and special skills, as well as from the organizations you belong to. To get the most money for college, you’ll want to understand the differences between each type of aid and how to get the amount you need to pursue your college degree.
The Basics on Merit-Based Aid
Some money for college is awarded without regard for financial need. This type of college aid is usually awarded for a student’s academic achievements in high school, as well as for special talents and unique traits, such as musical or athletic skills. Awards and scholarships like this are usually awarded by states, colleges and universities, private groups or individuals. It’s generally intended to supplement need-based aid or help you cover your expected family contribution if you don’t have that money on hand.
Common examples of merit-based financial aid:
The Basics on Need-Based Aid
Need-based college aid is awarded based on your family’s financial need. The Department of Education and the colleges and universities you’re applying to determine your need by subtracting your expected family contribution (EFC) form the cost of attendance (COA) at each college or university.
Because all federal aid is need-based, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to be eligible for federal aid, as well as need-based aid from states and institutions. Some need-based aid consists of education grants you don’t need to repay, while others are college loans that need to be repaid with interest. Federal loans are the largest form of financial aid, and they will likely be a large part of your college award letters.
Common examples of need-based financial aid:
Please click on our Aid-Scholarship tab for more information regarding Dillard University Scholarships Programs and there is additional information on the Outside Scholarships tab.
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
Federal Nursing Loan: This is a Federal Loan awarded to eligible students enrolled in the Nursing Program.
The Nursing Student Loan is a federal loan available to undergraduate nursing students demonstrating financial need. Nursing students who want to be considered for the loan must meet the FAFSA priority deadline for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Income-Contingent Funding Alternative
Student Freedom Initiative, a single-purpose nonprofit organization focused on serving students at Minority Serving Institutions, including Dillard University, offers student academic support programs as well as an income-contingent funding alternative, the Student Freedom Agreement, for eligible juniors and seniors in STEM majors. Learn more about Student Freedom Initiative at Dillard.
A single purpose nonprofit organization, Student Freedom Initiative, the organization strives to be a catalyst for freedom in professional and life choices for students attending Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). They hope to do this by increasing their social and economic mobility using a student-centric, evidence-based, holistic, and collaborative approach. In simpler terms, Student Freedom Initiative hopes to provide students with the academic skills and career opportunities they need to succeed after graduation, including:
Student Freedom Initiative also offers an income-contingent funding alternative to eligible students at participating schools, including Dillard University.
All Dillard University students can take advantage of Student Freedom Initiative’s academic and career support programs, from tutoring and mentoring opportunities to paid internships facilitated through the internX platform, which helps place students at leading companies as interns.
In addition, Student Freedom Initiative offers targeted capacity-building programs to support our institution’s needs. Details on participation in these programs will be provided on this page as the program rolls out in the coming months.
The income contingent alternative to fixed payment loans component of Student Freedom Initiative’s program is limited at this time to rising junior and senior students in approved STEM majors. This financial program is called Student Freedom Agreement. The administration at Dillard University, has approved the following majors for participation in the initiative’s Student Freedom Agreement component:
• Computer Science
It’s also important to note that juniors and seniors majoring in any of the approved STEM programs must also meet specific eligibility criteria to receive funding under a Student Freedom Agreement (SFA). The current eligibility criteria includes:
To learn more about Student Freedom Initiative and the Student Freedom Agreement, please contact Dillard’s Office of Financial Aid, review the eligibility page on the Student Freedom Initiative’s website or check this page for future updates.
The Student Freedom Agreement is an income-contingent funding alternative available to rising junior and senior students in approved STEM majors at participating schools.
Additional Student Freedom Agreement details:
If a student has applied for the Student Freedom Agreement and would like status updates on their Student Freedom Agreement application, students should contact customer support at 833.531.1310 or firstname.lastname@example.org for status updates on their Student Freedom Agreement application. Students can also contact their Financial Aid Office with additional questions.
To learn more about the Student Freedom Agreement, applying for the program and entering into an Agreement, visit the Student Freedom Initiative website.
Robert F. Smith, entrepreneur, philanthropist and Founder, Chairman and CEO of global investment firm Vista Equity Partners, is the visionary behind Student Freedom Initiative. After Smith’s newsworthy gift of nearly $34 million to pay off the undergraduate student loans of the Morehouse College class of 2019, Smith labored to create more opportunities for lasting, generational change when it came to lessening student debt for students of color. The result of several years of careful study and collaboration was Student Freedom Initiative. Initially endowed with a $50 million donation by Fund II Foundation, of which Smith is also founding director and President, Smith later matched the amount with his own $50 personal gift, and the Initiative was born.
While Smith was named Chairman of Student Freedom Initiative, a growing number of organizations have offered their support. Some groups will provide financial assistance, while others are offering their expertise by way of training or growing university capacity-building programs.
2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122