Yes. While you have to meet certain requirements to receive scholarships and grants, you do not have to pay them back. Literally thousands of scholarships and grants are available to college students.

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What’s the Difference?

Scholarships are usually merit-based aid, while grants are usually need-based.

  • Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on particular talents or achievements. Merit-based aid might be given for academics, sports, arts or leadership, for instance.
  • Eligibility for need-based grants is determined by your family’s ability to pay for college, with income being one important factor. Other factors might include number of people in your family and number of family members in college.

Scholarships and grants can come from government sources or from private sources (such as colleges and universities, nonprofit foundations and religious or service organizations). Note: Reputable organizations will not charge fees for scholarship searches.

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Where do I start?

All federal and state aid, as well as many forms of school-based and private aid, requires you to file the FAFSA. Many state aid programs also require the Iowa Financial Aid Application.

VIDEO: What Are Scholarships and Grants?

FREE BROCHURE: Grants & Scholarships

College Board’s Scholarship Search


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