There are many financial aid programs available to make college affordable. All of which fall into two basic types of financial aid — gift aid and self-help. Though both types help you pay for college, it is important to understand the differences in how they work.
Gift aid is any aid offered to you that does not require repayment. Grants and scholarships typically fall under this category and may require financial need, some type of merit (academic, athletic, or other achievements) or a combination of both in order to receive.
Self-help includes loans and work study opportunities that require you to repay or—in the case of work study programs—earn the funds you receive.
The most common sources of financial aid are the government (both state and federal), and colleges. There is no limit to the amount of aid you can apply for, and the only thing you need to do is complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA), and any other financial aid forms your college requires. Not sure about which form to fill out? We have a quick quiz to help you figure it out.
Visit any of the financial aid categories below for more information on individual programs available to Washington students.