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Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid is money you receive to help you pay for college. It includes scholarships, grants, work-study and student loans. You don't need to pay back scholarship or grant money, and money you earn through work-study is yours. A student loan, though, is money you need to pay back with extra charges called interest.


Grants are given by the government, schools or organizations to help you through school. Grants do not need to be repaid and are usually based on need.


Scholarships also don't need to be repaid. They are usually awarded because you need the money or because you've earned it by being good at something. Or, you might win a scholarship if you agree to play a college sport or because you belong to a certain ethnic group.


You might get a work-study job that pays you to work somewhere on campus part-time while you're in college.


Loans should only be used if you absolutely need them to attend college. The extra charges, or interest, you pay for borrowing the money builds up so you have to pay back more than what you borrowed. Federal student loans come from the U.S. government, while banks and other lenders offer private student loans.

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