Indiana College Costs Estimator

Types and Sources of Financial Aid

When you start planning for college, be sure you understand your possible financial aid opportunities. Financial aid can make a big difference when it comes to what you actually pay to attend college. Whether or not you qualify for need-based aid, merit-based aid, or both, there are opportunities to help you pay for college. 

Essentially, there are three major types of financial aid:

  • Grants and Scholarships – “free” money that does not have to be repaid
  • Loans – borrowed funds that must be repaid (although repayment of student loans is typically deferred until after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment)
  • Jobs/Work Aid – money that must be earned and then applied to college costs (such as Federal Work Study funds)

There are four major sources of financial aid. They include:

For more information on the specific forms of financial aid available from each of these sources, click on the links above.