You want to go to college. You know it’s important for your future success. But going to college costs a lot. You have to pay for tuition and fees, books, a place to live, and a way to get around. You’re probably wondering how you’ll pay for it all. Here’s some good news:
There’s a lot of money out there to help you pay for college. It’s called financial aid, and everyone should apply for it!
Launch of the 2024-25 FAFSA Form
The 2024–25 FAFSA® form will be available in December 2023, not Oct. 1. Learn how to prepare for and stay informed about the FAFSA launch.
Apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. Your college uses your FAFSA data to determine your federal aid eligibility. Many states and colleges use FAFSA data to award their own aid.
What kinds of financial aid can you get?
There are a few main kinds of financial aid you need to know.
Grants and Scholarships
- Grants and scholarships are free money. Sometimes, they’re called “gift aid.” You don’t have to pay them back.
- They’re the best kind of financial aid.
- The money may come from the federal or state government, your college, private organizations, or companies.
- Work-study is earned money.
- After free money, it’s your next best option for paying for college.
- You’ll work part-time while you go to school.
- Jobs may be on- or off-campus. They may be related to your major or focus on community service.
- Work-Study money may come from the federal government or your college.
Learn more about work-study.
- Loans are borrowed money. After you graduate, you’ll have to pay it back, plus interest.
- If free and earned money aren’t enough to pay for college, you may need a student loan.
- Federal loans cost less over time than most private loans. They also offer more ways to pay the money back.
Learn more about student loans.
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