Fast Fact

Federal loans are the largest source of student aid, accounting for 50% of aid used in 2008–2009.

Source: The College Board, 2009

Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

Always apply for "free" financial aid—grants and scholarships—first. Free financial aid (sometimes called "gift aid") is the type that you do not need to pay back (as long as you meet all of the obligations).

You will probably not receive enough aid in the forms of grants and scholarships to cover 100% of your costs. Loans provide a convenient way to cover any gaps in funding. But you must repay loans, so apply for as many grants or scholarships as possible before you consider a loan.

Grants

Scholarships

Loans

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