Types of federal student aid

By Scott Glasgow - As the largest provider of student aid, the Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid provides grants, loans, and work-study funds for students.


Grants are free money that do not have to be repaid.

Student Loans

Student loans are real loans (like a car or home loan) that need to be repaid with interest.


A work-study job gives you the opportunity to earn money to help pay for your educational experiences.

Federal vs. private loans

What if scholarships, grants, work-study, federal loans, and school and state loans are not enough to cover your total cost of attendance? You can look into private loans. But remember, this should be your LAST option because you will likely have higher interest rates!


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid helps your school determine what type of federal aid is availble. Tip: While you can get Federal Grants, Loans, and Work-Study by submitting the FAFSA, you should also apply for private Scholarships & Grants - it’s more free money!

What's Next On Student Aid & Loans?

Next Story: Understanding Student Loans

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