Pay for College

Explore college costs and plan how you'll pay for your degree or certificate.

What is Financial Aid?

Learn about all the financial aid available to help you pay for college.

The biggest misconception about financial aid is that only students with academic merit or financial need receive aid. In fact, most students qualify for some form of financial aid, and many need this aid to pay for college. Learn more about the many forms of financial aid that may be available to you by reviewing the table below and clicking each link.

A quick guide to financial aid

Aid type

What it is


How to apply


Gift of money that doesn't have to be repaid

Colleges, organizations, states

Apply to donor school or organization


Money for college based on financial need; doesn't have to be repaid generally, unless student withdraws from school during the semester for which the grant was received

Federal government, states, colleges

Complete the FAFSA*

Schools may require a separate application Free Application for Federal Student Aid


Jobs on or off campus offered to students based on need and availability

Federal government, states

Complete the FAFSA

Federal loan

Borrowed money that must be repaid

Federal government

Complete the FAFSA

State loan

Borrowed money that must be repaid

State government

Complete the appropriate application

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