Types of Aid

When applying for financial aid, there are various types of aid that students may be eligible to receive: grants, scholarships, loans, and work study. There are differences between each type of aid and it is important to consider these differences when reviewing your financial aid awards.


Student loans are a form of financial aid that has to be paid back, usually with interest. Not all loans are created equal – federal loans are typically preferable to alternative loans. It is important to consider the interest rate, fees, and repayment terms prior to agreeing to borrow any type of student loan.

Work Study

The work study program offers students an opportunity to work part-time while they are enrolled. If a student is awarded work study, it is important to note that this does NOT get applied to the bill. Students earn a paycheck for the hours they work which they can then use to help alleviate some of the day-to-day costs of attending college.


In addition to receiving need-based awards, students may also qualify for scholarships. Like grants, scholarships are awards that do not need to be paid back. However, unlike grants, scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement.

Additional Financing Options

In addition to the types of aid highlighted above, there are alternative financing options students and their families can consider to help pay for educational costs.