Loan Information Center
617.728.4200, option 4
Mon – Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Please note: All times Eastern.
Types of Financial Aid
Financial aid can be broken down into two types: money you don't repay and money you repay.
Maximize your free aid—and minimize how much you will owe—by understanding these financial aid options and your eligibility.
Money You Don’t Repay
The primary types of free aid are grants, scholarships, and fellowships.
- Grants are generally based on need.
- Scholarships and fellowships are typically based on merit.
- One important source of federal funding is the Pell grant.
- Pell grants are based on your financial need, school costs, and the number of classes you take.
- Hundreds of grants, scholarships, and fellowships are available.
- Find ones you are eligible for by searching Fastweb® or The Scholarship Page™.
- You can also ask your guidance counselor about free aid.
Additionally, you can earn money toward your education with employment aid.
- Employment aid can be a work-study job or an assistantship.
- Work-study students hold jobs offered through their schools.
- Assistantships usually require students to assist a faculty member or administrator.
- Assistantships can vary depending on your school and field of study.
- You are sent employment aid directly to pay for tuition, room, meals, or other fees.
- You can also request this aid be sent to the school.
Money You Repay
The main kind of aid you have to repay is student loans.
- Student loans must be repaid whether you complete your educational program or withdraw.
- The amount you borrow and your interest rate determine how much you owe.
- Students and parents of students can borrow many types of student loans.
Eligibility for employment aid, federal student loans, and Pell grants is determined when you apply for financial aid. The actual dollar amounts will be in your financial aid award letter—that is why you must understand your award.
Not all schools participate in all student loan programs. Your financial aid office can provide you with specific information about your school’s programs.
You will need to apply separately for non-federal scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Searching for these and completing their paperwork may seem like a lot of work. Remember, every dollar you earn today is one you will not have to repay tomorrow.