Three major kinds of financial aid are:
  1. Scholarships
  2. Grants
  3. Education loans
Scholarships do not need to be repaid as long as you meet all scholarship requirements. Scholarships are personalized forms of financial aid. They are usually available to students with particular strengths in academic, artistic, or athletic fields. Students from underrepresented groups or students with financial need may also be eligible to receive scholarships. The scholarship section of this site provides information about the many specialized scholarship opportunities available to you.

Grants do not need to be repaid as long as you meet all grant requirements. Pell Grants are funded by the federal government. To receive a Pell Grant, students must meet certain qualifications. The Pell Grant section of this site provides more information about Pell Grants. Many colleges and universities also have their own institutional grant programs.

Education Loans
Education loans need to be repaid.
The following types of loans are available from the federal government:
  • Stafford loans and Perkins loans
  • Parent loans (PLUS loans)
  • Professional and Graduate Student PLUS loans
Stafford loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized Stafford loans are awarded to students based on financial need. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are not based on financial need.

Perkins Loans are low-interest loans funded by the federal government and administered by your school.

PLUS loans are available to parents of dependent students.

Student PLUS loans are available to professional and graduate students.

To apply for any form of federal financial aid, you need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Students should complete the FAFSA on the Web worksheet prior to filling out the FAFSA; it makes the process go much more smoothly.

It can be more difficult for International and Canadian students to obtain financial aid in the United States but financial aid opportunities are available for such students.

Financial Aid Process
What is Financial Aid?

Working in conjunction with the United States Department of Education, colleges and universities offer financial assistance to enrolled degree candidates in many forms:
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