When it comes to paying for school, you're not alone. Grants, work-study, and low-interest loans help make college affordable.

Financial aid is available from a variety of sources for college, career school, graduate school, and professional school.

Types of Aid

Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school. Aid can come from

Besides financial aid, you also should 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 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.)

View accessible version (wmv)


Aid and Other Resources From the Federal Government

The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs. Besides aid from the U.S. Department of Education (discussed below), you also might get

The U.S. Department of Education awards about $150 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to more than 15 million students. Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can 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!

Federal student aid includes:

  • Grants—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)
  • Loans— borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest
  • Work-Study—a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school

Use FAFSA4caster to get an estimate of how much aid you might receive from the U.S. Department of Education.

Apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM). And remember, the first F in “FAFSA” stands for “free”—you shouldn’t pay to fill out the FAFSA

Top 


Aid From Your State Government

Even if you're not eligible for federal aid, you might be eligible for financial aid from your state. Contact your state grant agency for more information.

Top 


Aid From Your College or Career School

Many colleges offer financial aid from their own funds. Find out what might be available to you:

  • Visit your school’s financial aid page on its website, or ask someone in 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 the school requires for its own aid, and meet the deadlines.

Top 


Aid From a Nonprofit or Private Organization

Many organizations offer scholarships or grants to help students pay for college. This free money can make a real difference in how affordable your education is.

Top