A variety of financial aid sources are available to help you pay for college or career school.
Financial aid can come from federal, state, school, and private sources to help you pay for college or career school.
Besides financial aid, you should also think about what you can do to lower your costs when you go to college.
“Types of Federal Student Aid” Video
Check out this video to learn about federal grants, loans, and work-study jobs and how they can help fund your education. (Captioning available in English and Spanish; just start the video and click on the CC symbol at the bottom.)
A grant is a form of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund, or you receive a TEACH Grant and don’t complete your service obligation). A variety of federal grants are available, including Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.
Many nonprofit and private organizations offer scholarships to help students pay for college or career school. This type of free money, which is sometimes based on academic merit, talent, or a particular area of study, can make a real difference in helping you manage your education expenses.
The Federal Work-Study Program allows you to earn money to pay for school by working part-time.
When you receive a student loan, you are borrowing money to attend a college or career school. You must repay the loan as well as interest that accrues. It is important to understand your repayment options so you can successfully repay your loan.
Use FAFSA4caster to estimate your eligibility for federal student aid.
Aid for Military Families
There are special aid programs or additional aid eligibility for serving in the military or for being the spouse or child of a veteran.
Aid for International Study
Federal student aid may be available for studying at a school outside the United States, whether you’re studying abroad or getting your degree from an international school.
Aid and Other Resources From the Federal Government
Besides aid from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the federal government offers a number of other financial aid programs. These programs include
- tax benefits for education;
- education awards for community service with AmeriCorps;
- educational and training vouchers for current and former foster care youth; and/or
- scholarships and loan repayment programs through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and National Health Service Corps.
Federal student aid from ED covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid can also help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. Thousands of schools across the country participate in the federal student aid programs; ask the schools you’re interested in whether they do!
Apply for federal student aid—grants, work-study, and loans—using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. And remember, the first F in “FAFSA” stands for “free”—you shouldn’t pay to fill out the FAFSA form!
Aid From Your State Government
Other than federal aid, you might be eligible for financial assistance from your state. Contact your state grant agency for more information.
Aid From Your College or Career School
Many schools offer financial aid from their own grant and/or scholarship funds. Find out what might be available to you:
- Visit your school’s financial aid page on its website, or contact the financial aid office.
- Ask at the department that offers your course of study; they might have a scholarship for students in your major.
- Fill out any applications your school requires for its own aid programs, and meet your school’s deadlines.