Fast Fact

Federal loans and grants are the largest source of student aid, accounting for 61% of aid used in 2012-2013.

Source: The College Board, 2013

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.




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