Paying for college is never the same at each institution. While some financial aid is free money, you may have to repay or earn from others. Knowing the difference can save you’re in the long run financially,
While you do have to repay some financial aid, that type of funding is just one of the three main categories you may be eligible for:
- Free money
- Money you have to work for
- Money you have to repay
Free Money: Free money for college is usually available in the form of grants or scholarships. As the “free” implies, this is financial aid you don’t need to repay.
Grants: Grants are free money that is typically offered based on your financial need, which is determined by the information you provide on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal or state governments, as well as your school, usually award grants. Best of all, you don’t usually have to apply for grants separately. When you complete and submit the FAFSA, the federal, state, and institutional grants that you are eligible for will be awarded to you and appear on your award letter.
Scholarships: Scholarships are awards of free money that is typically based on merit or other criteria. Many different entities award scholarships—including corporations, service organizations, local governments, schools, and more. There are scholarships for all sorts of achievements, and they aren’t always based on your grades. Use our scholarship search tool to find scholarships that you may be eligible to receive.
For additional information check out SALT Money website.