- Grants—federal/state money given to those who qualify based upon financial need
- Scholarships—money given for education, no need for repayment
- Work-study—money given to a qualified individual in exchange for work
- Loans—money loaned at a favorable rate but must be repaid
Grants are awarded to students based on financial need. Like scholarships, grants don’t have to be paid back. The U.S. Department of Education uses the information reported in the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine your eligibility. Talk to your high school counselor or contact the financial aid office of one of the state’s universities or colleges for more information. Here are some examples of available grants:
- The federal Pell Grant provides a foundation of financial assistance to which other kinds of aid can be added. This award is only available to undergraduate students.
- There are also several state grant programs that may be available to state residents who qualify. Contact your college’s financial aid office for more information on these state grant programs.
Scholarships are awards typically based on unique criteria such as talent, achievement, financial need, etc. Billions of dollars worth of scholarships are available each year to college students across the country. Schools offer dozens of scholarships. Some scholarships require students to take specific classes, maintain minimal standards during your time in school (such as a minimum GPA), or take a certain number of credit hours per semester.
Never applied before? Don’t worry. Applying for scholarships can be easier than applying for a job.
- The best place to begin your search for scholarships is with the college(s) you plan to attend.
- High school counseling centers are another excellent source for researching available scholarships.
- Scholarship applications usually ask for information regarding your academic performance, extra-curricular activities, financial need, community involvement, and may ask for letters of recommendation.
- Once you have found suitable scholarships, apply for them as soon as possible.
- Some scholarships may require you to audition, be interviewed, or complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or “FAFSA”). Be sure to complete the FAFSA because you never know when a particular scholarship will require it.
- Beware of scams! All college scholarship searches should be free to use and most schools have their applications available online.
The Utah State Board of Regents offers two specific scholarships available to all Utah high school students; the New Century Scholarship and the Regents’ Scholarship. For specific information regarding each of the scholarships please visit higheredutah.org.
The awards amounts are determined on an annual basis and are subject to legislative funding and the total number of qualified participants. Therefore, award amounts may be reduced, may vary from year to year, and are dependent on when the recipient is enrolled in college. The maximum New Century award and the Regents’ Scholarship Exemplary Academic Achievement award amount that a student may receive is $1250 per semester.
These scholarships may continue to be refined and altered on an annual basis as result of legislation. Therefore, it is important that you use this website as your resource for the most up-to-date information. (Do not rely on past scholarship information or application packets as they are out-of-date.)
Work-study allows eligible students to earn money through a part-time job. The financial aid or student employment office at your college can help you find a work study job. Learn more about work-study by clicking here.
Loans are a form of financial aid that must be repaid. Like a car loan from a bank, student loans have interest. The interest rates on federal student loans are generally low. When considering a loan, you need to read the terms of the agreement carefully. Be wise about the amount of money you borrow. Higher education is one of the best investments you can make throughout your lifetime, but be realistic about the amount of money you need for school.
Types of federal loans include:
Stafford loans are variable and fixed interest loans. In some cases, the interest is not applied until six months after you leave school. This type of loan is called a Subsidized Stafford Loan. In other cases, the interest begins to accrue immediately. This type of loan is referred to as an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
Perkins loan is a low-interest, subsidized loan available to students with exceptional financial need. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.
PLUS loans are federal loans available to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students with good credit histories. These loans are made through the Department of Education.