Grants: Gift aid that you're awarded based on your expected family contribution, which is calculated from the FAFSA. Applying for grants early is always best, but not mandatory.
Loans: Federal student loans for college are an investment in your future. You must repay your loan, so be sure you understand your options and responsibilities.
Scholarships: Scholarships are gifts. They don’t need to be repaid. There are thousands of them, offered by schools, employers, individuals, nonprofits, communities and social organizations.
Work-Study: Provides jobs if you're eligible for financial need, allowing you to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to your course of study.
Updated April 07, 2014