Paying for College

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid can come from federal, state, school and private sources to help you pay for college or career school. 
The U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and low-interest loans to more than 13 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!

There are three types of federal student aid:

  • Grants—financial aid that doesn't have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)

  • Work-study—a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school

  • Loans—borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest