Financial Aid

There are four types of financial aid. A description of each is below:


Money you receive that you don’t have to repay; based on financial need.

  • Pell Grant: The largest source of free federal money for students with financial need. Awards range from $400 to over $4000 per year.
  • Other Federal Grants: Find out about other federal grants at http://studentaid.ed.gov.


Students with financial aid earn money with part-time jobs.

  • Students must indicate interest on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Colleges assist students in finding job placements.
  • Non-need-based employment opportunities are also available through colleges.
  • Jobs often have flexible work hours that will fit a student’s schedule.


Money you don’t have to repay, usually based on student skills, interests, area of study or merit.

  • Athletic, musical or other special talents
  • Community service
  • Good grades
  • High test scores

Scholarships are available through community organizations, foundations, religious organizations, businesses, and labor unions. Talk to school counselors for more information. Beware of scholarship scams! Be on the alert if a company makes scholarship promises, charges a fee, or asks for your credit card information to hold a scholarship. To view a list of scholarship organizations go to the resources page.


Borrowed money that must be paid back, usually with interest. Federal loans have a low interest rate and are paid over a minimum of ten years. Three federal loans are:

  • Federal Stafford Loan: The most common student loan. There are two types, subsidized (government pays the interest while student is in college) and unsubsidized (student pays interest that accrues while he/she is in college).
  • Federal Perkins Loan: Low-interest loans for students with significant financial need.
  • Federal PLUS Loan for Parents: Parent loan to help their students pay for their education.