If you need help paying for college or career school, the office of Federal Student Aid (part of the U.S. Department of Education) may be your best option.
They offer more than $150 billion to students each year in the form of grants, loans, and work-study funds. Federal student aid can be used to pay for expenses like tuition, room and board, books, and supplies.
Start by filling out the FAFSA form. You’ll then receive an award letter from each school you listed on your form, explaining the federal and non-federal options they can offer.
If you qualify for a federal grant, you don’t have to repay the money.
If you receive a student loan, you will need to repay it, with interest. Consider a federal loan over a private loan first, as it typically has lower fixed interest rates and has other benefits such as a better repayment plan. You may be able to adjust or defer your payments, deduct interest from your taxes, and even consolidate all your loans into one monthly payment. Federal loans may even be forgiven if you get a certain kind of job.
Work-study jobs allow you to earn at least minimum wage while you’re attending school. If you have any questions, visit your school’s financial aid office.
Visit StudentAid.gov to learn more.