Mapping Your Financial Journey: Helping Adults Plan for College
Get Financial Aid

Types of Traditional Financial Aid: Grants, Scholarships, Work-Study


The key advantage of grants is that they don't have to be repaid. Several federal programs to look into:

  • Pell Grant: $5,550 maximum in 2010–2011. Amount awarded depends on financial need, college costs, and other factors.
  • National SMART Grant: Up to $4,000; for third- and fourth-year undergraduates in science and math. Amount awarded depends on need and grade point average.
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): From $100 to $4,000 a year. Amount awarded depends on financial need.
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant: Up to $750 for the first year of undergraduate study and $1,300 for the second year. Available to students who have completed a rigorous high-school program.

For more information on federal aid, visit


Like grants, scholarships don’t have to be repaid. But you have to apply for scholarships, just like you do for federal aid.

Even if your academic record isn’t stellar or you don’t have extreme financial need, apply for all appropriate scholarships. Look for resources that fit your ethnic background, hobbies, and academic interests.

Some places that might offer scholarships include your employer, nonprofits, ethnic organizations, religious organizations, service clubs (such as 4-H, YMCA/YWCA, Kiwanis), professional groups (for engineers, writers, artists, etc.), foundations, and endowments. 


Federal work-study programs pay at least minimum wage for performing a designated job on-campus or off-campus.

Go to Resources for financial aid, scholarships, and other educational financing information.

Read more about: Student Loans


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