Financial aid is money to help pay for college or other postsecondary education or training, such as technical school. Federal financial aid is aid that comes from the U.S. Federal Government and includes grants, loans and work-study. The federal government offers a number of financial aid programs. The U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and loans to more than 13 million students. Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. Thousands of schools across the country participate in the federal student aid programs.
- Besides aid from the U.S. Department of Education, you also might get
- Aid for serving in the military or for being the spouse or child of a veteran;
- Tax benefits for education;
- An Education Award for community service with AmeriCorps;
- Educational and Training Vouchers for current and former foster care youth;
- Scholarships and loan repayment through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and National Health Service Corps.
- Federal student aid includes:
- Grants—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)
- Loans— borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest
- Work-Study—a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school
- Types of Federal Aid
- Types of Federal Student Aid video
- Overview: What is Federal Financial Aid? from the University of Hawaii
- Federal Student Aid: Finding the Information You Need
- (Added 10/09/23 Kelly Dunn, Postsecondary Counselor Educator): The NY Times has an article, titled “How Do I Pay for College,” that includes an AI chat for readers to enter questions along with responses to commonly asked questions – the article can be found here.
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