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Financial Aid Types and Sources

Students at Commencement


A scholarship is financial support awarded to a student based on academic achievement or financial need.

Students working durning a lab


Grants are a form of financial aid, based on need which you do not have to repay.

Students working durning a nursing lab

Federal Work Study

The Federal Work-Study program provides funds for part-time employment to help needy students financial costs of postsecondary education

Professor teaching students durning a course


Loans are borrowed money that must be repaid. There are various types of loans that may be included in a financial aid offer.


Cost of Attendance vs. Student Aid Index

Financial need is the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) at a school and your Student Aid Index (SAI). While COA varies from school to school, your SAI does not change based on the school you attend.

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is the amount it will cost a student to go to school. If you’re attending school at least half-time, the COA is the estimate of tuition and fees, living expenses, cost of books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and miscellaneous expenses (including a reasonable amount for the documented cost of a personal computer), allowance for childcare or other dependent care, costs related to a disability, and reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs.

The Student Aid Index is an eligibility index number that the financial aid office uses to determine how much federal student aid you would receive if you attend. This number results from the information that you provide in your FAFSA form.

Most of the tax information used to calculate the SAI is transferred directly from the IRS into the FAFSA form if you provide your consent and approval. (Some FAFSA applicants may need to manually provide tax information.)

Learn how the SAI is calculated.

Note: The SAI is not a dollar amount of aid eligibility or what your family is expected to provide.

Click HERE for more information on COA and Examples.

“Types of Federal Student Aid” Video

Check out this video to learn about grants, loans, and work-study jobs and how they can help fund your education.