Grants are generally a form of need-based financial aid that does not have to be repaid.
The most common federal grant for undergraduate students is called the Pell Grant. In order to apply for the Pell Grant, you must fill out the FAFSA.
Scholarships do not need to be repaid, and they can be based on all kinds of criteria. Many are need-based or merit-based, but there are thousands of scholarships based on interests, ethnicity, sports, community service, and more.
Scholarships can come directly from your college or university, but private organizations also provide scholarships as well. It is a good idea to do some research on scholarships you might be eligible for--check out the sites listed here, ask sports coaches and teachers, talk to your GEAR UP Coaches, and sometimes even employers or places of worship offer scholarships.
Websites like Fastweb, College Board, and Niche have their own scholarship search engines that can help you find free money based on your information and interests.
Work Study allows you to get an on-campus job and earn money while you are taking classes.
For example, if you are awarded $2,500 for Work Study, that means the government will help pay your wages until you have earned $2,500 in that school year.
In order to apply for Work Study, you must complete the FAFSA.
Work Study jobs are typically very flexible with your class schedule, and they are convenient because they are on-campus.
Student loans must be repaid! In order to apply for federal student loans, you must fill out the FAFSA.
You will not have to start repaying your student loans until 6 months after you graduate from college. However, depending on the loan, sometimes they will still accrue interest while you are in school.