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Whats the Difference Between Grants, Scholarships, and Loans?

Whats the Difference Between Grants, Scholarships, and Loans?

Grants, scholarships, and student loans are all types of financial assistance meant to help students meet the cost of higher education.

While grants and scholarships are types of gift aid, meaning they don't have to be paid back, borrowers typically have to pay back student loans in full, plus interest.

What is a grant?

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Grants, like scholarships, are a type of financial aid. Grant money is primarily given by the federal government, state governments, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, o r any private organization that has money to give to college students.

Are you eligible for grants?

Unlike scholarships, most grant programs are need-based, not merit-based. In order to qualify for grants, you'll usually have to provide financial information about yourself and your parents or guardians.

Typically, your eligibility for grants is based on your college's cost of attendance, as well as your expected family contribution (EFC). Some state grants and university grants also have an income cutoff. So, if your family makes too much money, you won't qualify.

Applying for grants

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The good news is you have (nearly) one-stop shopping in applying for grants.