What are the Types of Financial Aid?
"Financial aid" is a term that covers a wide variety of programs that help students and families pay for college or graduate school. The two main criteria used to award financial assistance are financial need and academic merit. Some awards must be re-paid (loans) while others do not (grants, scholarships).
View a chart of federal and state-funded financial aid programs.
The three major sources of financial aid are the federal government, state government and educational institutions, although many businesses, labor organizations, foundations, religious organizations, and community organizations also offer financial assistance. The federal government has recognized the need for teachers, particularly in the fields of special education, mathematics, and science, and has created grants for individuals pursuing careers in those subject areas.
A gift, often based on achievement rather than need, that is offered by community and professional groups, businesses, foundations, unions, churches and other organizations. Be wary about using for-profit scholarship search services, which charge you a fee for information that is available free.
- Aid for Military Families - College and Career
- California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing (Scholarship) Program
- California State University Scholarship Programs
- Middle Class Scholarship (MCS)
- Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program
- Teacher.org's Inspire Our Future Scholarship!
Financial aid that does not need to be repaid. Grants are often based on need.
- $10 million grant boosts California’s current and future teacher training in math, science at eleven California State University campuses.
- Cal Grant A - Competitive Award (For Undergraduates)
- Cal Grant A - Entitlement Award (For Undergraduates)
- Cal Grant B - Entitlement & Competitive Awards (For Undergraduates)
- California Chafee Grant Program for Foster Youth
- California Child Development Grant
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- Knowles Science Teaching Fellowships
- National Council for Teachers of Mathematics
- National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
- Troops to Teachers
Money that must be repaid with interest (unless forgiven in return for a commitment to teach in high-need subjects or areas, such as in California's APLE program). For some loans, the government pays the interest while you attend school.
- Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Graduate and Professional Degree Students)
- Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Parent loans)
- Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan Program
Work-study, scholarships, internships, tuition payment plans, fee waivers, and other subsidies offered by a specific campus.
Other Financial Aid Opportunities
Additional financial support can come from student loan forgiveness, housing cost reduction, information and resources. The following Web sites are an example of those types of opportunities including major Federal and California government Web sites.
- California Golden State ScholarShare College Savings Trust
- Housing and Urban Development - Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program