There are many types and sources of financial aid. Funds can come from the federal government, state government, institution, and private donors and are awarded in the form of Grants, Loans, Work-Study, and Scholarships. The amount and type of aid awarded is based on many factors, including your and your family’s income, when you submitted your application, and availability of funds.
Grants are considered “gift” aid because they do not have to be repaid. Grants are generally awarded to students who exhibit financial need as determined by the FAFSA or TASFA application. Not all students who have financial need will receive grants, as funding is often limited. Students who submit their applications by the April 1 priority deadline have the best chance of being eligible for grant funding, but grants are never guaranteed.
Loans are considered “self-help” aid and are intended to assist a student with making an investment into his or her education, but must be repaid to the lender. Loans are available from a variety of sources, including the federal and state governments, and private institutions. If the student or parent decides to borrow student loans, it is important to understand the consequences, repayment information, and options that are available.
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Federal and state funds provide part-time jobs for students who exhibit financial need, allowing them the opportunity to earn money to assist with education expenses. Work study positions are not guaranteed, and do not pay out in a lump sum like other financial aid awards.
Scholarships are awarded based upon various criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. Scholarship money is not required to be repaid.