Grants and scholarships provide you with free money for your education. You do not have to pay this money back if you use it as intended. If you cannot secure a grant or scholarship, there are other financial aid options. Other types of financial aid include work-study programs and loans.
A work-study program allows you to work part-time to pay for a portion of your studies. This is a great option for young students, especially those who do not have a job currently.
Most work-study programs aim to give you work experience related to your degree or study. Jobs can be on and off campus. Off-campus positions are typically with a nonprofit organization that has agreements with your school.
Your school can pay you for your work:
- Directly via check or electronically to your bank account.
- By applying the amount to your education expenses, like tuition.
Federal and private loans are funds that you will have to pay back. Student loans are exclusively for education expenses.
Like other types of loans, these funds will have interest charges. However, student loan rates are typically much less than those for personal loans.
Interest rates on certain student loans do not start until you graduate. Subsidized loans do not accrue interest charges as long as you are enrolled in school halftime. Unsubsidized loans start charging interest from the first day.
You can apply for grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans on the federal student aid website. You can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will look at several aid options you may be eligible for.