What are Pell Grants?

Pell Grants are a type of federal aid awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree. Pell Grants do not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances.

Learn more about Pell Grants.

  • Work-Study Programs - Work-study programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus. Students earn money to help cover the cost of attending college, and the money earned does not need to be repaid.

  • Loans - Loans are financial awards that must be repaid with interest. They can be awarded by the government (federal loans) or private lenders (private loans) and can be used to cover the cost of tuition, books, room and board and other expenses associated with attending college.

What is the difference between federal loans and private loans?

A federal loan is a form of student loan that comes from the government for education-related costs. Federal loans may be obtained through the FAFSA and may be subsidized or unsubsidized. There is also the option for parents of dependent undergraduate students and for graduate students to be awarded a Direct PLUS loan.

In contrast, a private student loan is a non-federal loan issued by a lender such as a bank or credit union. Private student loans often have variable interest rates, require a credit check and do not provide the benefits of federal student loans such as fixed interest rates, no credit checks, multiple loan repayment options and loan consolidation.

Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans.