Grants & scholarships

The more money you can get in grants and scholarships, the less you’ll need to borrow. And it’s money that you don’t have to repay.


Grants

Scholarships

Definition

Federal or state government money awarded to a student based on financial need or academic achievement. Does not have to be repaid.
Money awarded to a student from sources such as universities, nonprofit organizations, corporations, and private individuals. Scholarships fall into three main categories: local, national, and school. Scholarship money does not have to be repaid.

Common types

Two federal programs based on family financial need are Pell Grants and Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants. States usually make grants to students with financial need and a strong grade point average. Generally, to qualify, you may have to be both a long-time resident and attend college in the state.
There are thousands of different scholarships, and they vary in terms of how to apply, how much money they’re worth, and who they're awarded to. For example, you may be chosen based on your overall academic achievement, the subject you plan to study, or talents you have, such as music or sports.

How to learn more

For information about federal grants, visit the Web site www.ed.gov/programs. State programs can vary from state to state. To see what’s offered in a particular state, visit the Web site for the State Department of Education.
For local scholarships, ask your high school guidance office; check with your local newspaper, community organizations, and your parents'/guardians’ employer. For school scholarships, ask your college admissions counselor. For national scholarships, do Web research.
You can apply for some school scholarships as an incoming student. These scholarships are often renewed each year you attend the school. Ask your college admissions counselor.
Click the Next button for information about the Federal Work-Study program.
Sources of funds How much you’ll need Savings plans Grants & scholarships Work-study Do you need to borrow? How much debt can you repay? Student loans