Types of financial aid
Grants - Free money offered to students to attend college
Grants are usually offered to those with the most need based on their EFC. Grants do not have to be paid back. However, in some cases students may need to repay all or a portion of their grants if they withdraw from school before finishing a semester/quarter. Grants can be offered from the federal or state government and from the college/university.
Work-Study - A program that provides part time or full time employment opportunities for students while they are enrolled in college/university.
Work-study is usually offered to those with the most need based on their EFC. If offered, work-study will be offered through a student’s financial aid award. The award determines the amount the student may earn; however, students must still find, apply, and be hired for their own work-study job. The money earned will be paid weekly, biweekly, or at least monthly, and will not negatively affect a student’s financial aid eligibility for the next school year. Work-study jobs may be either on or off campus.
Loans - money that must be repaid with interest.
Federal student loans are to be used for college/university expenses where the US Department of Education is the lender. These are some types of Direct Loans.
- Direct Subsidized Loan- offered to undergraduate students who demonstrated financial need. Interest is covered by the US Department of Education while the student is enrolled at least half-time, for the first six months after the student leaves college/university (whether they complete the term or degree or decide to withdraw early, and during a period of deferment.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan- loans offered to students at all levels (undergraduate, graduate,and professional) and students regardless of need. Interest is not covered and will accumulate during the time the student is enrolled in college/university.
- Direct PLUS Loan- loans offered to the parents of dependent undergraduate students to cover expenses not covered by other financial aid. These loans are offered regardless of student need, but do require a credit check.
Scholarships - free money offered to students for college/university costs
Scholarships can be offered by the college/university, private organizations, corporations, and other entities. Scholarship eligibility, deadlines, and requirements vary based on who is offering the scholarship. Some scholarships are based on need, talent, merit, and many other factors or combination of factors. Some scholarships, especially those based on need, require a student to submit a financial aid application. Other scholarships may require an essay, letter of recommendation, art work, auditions, transcripts, or other documents.