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Students

Application Process

Sources of Financial Aid


The four main sources for financial aid are the federal government, the state government, postsecondary institutions, and private organizations.

Federal Aid

The federal government is the largest financial aid provider in the nation. Types of financial aid for college that the federal government offers include loans, grants, and work-study funds. Anyone who wants to apply for federal financial aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

State Aid

State governments offer grants, scholarships, work-study funds, state loans, and tuition assistance. You can learn more about the financial aid for your particular state by contacting your state’s financial aid agency. The financial aid counselor at your school may also have information about state programs.

Institutional Aid

Institutional financial aid consists of aid that individual colleges and universities provide to their students. Colleges and universities typically offer scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. Talk to the financial aid officers at the colleges and universities you are interested in attending to determine what type of aid is available through the institution.

Private Aid

Typically in the form of loans and scholarships, private financial aid comes from corporations, religious organizations, cultural organizations, professional and service organizations, and more. To find out about the types of financial aid available from private sources, get in touch with college financial aid offices, a high school counselor or someone at a public library or school. There are also a number of websites, which provide search tools that can help you identify potential scholarships.