What is Financial Aid?

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is money dispersed to assist college students, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. It may be best to begin by explainig where financial aid comes from and the different types of financial aid available.

Basic financial aid sources:

  • Federal
  • State
  • Institutional
  • Private Sources

Basic types of financial aid:

  • Grants-"gift aid" or money that does not have to be repaid
    • Offered through many avenues including federal, state and private sources
  • Loans-college funding that must be repaid, often with interest 
    • Subsidized-student is not responsible for loan interest while attending school at least half-time
    • Unsubsidized-student is responsible for all interest payments on the loan
  • Student Employment-typically refers to the Federal Work Study Program
    • Funds are provided to students through part-time employment from the institution 
  • Scholarships-financial aid awarded to students based on various criteria 
    • May be offered by institutions or outside sources

Note:  Some types of aid are need-based. Additionally, students who do not maintain requirements for grants or scholarships my be responsible for repayment.