Financial Aid, Part 4: Federal Financial Aid Programs

Post By: COYD Staff

The federal government offers 3 types of student aid: grants, work-study and loans. You must submit the FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid) to apply for these financial aid programs.

federal grants for collegeGrants are funds that do not have to be paid back. They can be both merit and need-based. Examples of federal grants are The Pell Grant, the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), the National Science and Mathematic Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant), the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. These grants are offered to financially strapped students, future teachers, and students who have completed a rigorous high school program or received a cumulative 3.0 GPA for the first academic year (if you are a second-year student).

There are also discretionary grants that are awarded using a competitive process. and both have information about these grants.

federal work study programWork-study is a federally funded program that helps students earn funding through a part-time work program. Students are assured of receiving at least the federal minimum wage for the duration of their employment. For more information about student jobs, go to a previous post titled “Best College Jobs.”

Loans are funds that do need to be repaid. Some federal loans like the Federal Perkins Loan and the Subsidized Stafford Loan are loans where the government pays for the interest while you are in college. If you have a Perkins loan and become a teacher, it can be cancelled if you decide to work in a low-income area.

To learn more about the specific grants and loans, has in-depth information about grants and loans.


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