Scholarships are gifts you do not have to pay them back. Scholarships can be based on need or merit or both. You may receive scholarships from colleges, organizations, or foundations. Different scholarships are available for different types of students. Scholarships may be based on your grades, what you want to study in college, whether you are male or female, or your after-school activities.
Grants are available from the government and from colleges. By submitting the FAFSA, you will be given eligibility consideration for all federal and state grants. Many grants are based on your financial need. Grants are considered gift aid and they do not need to be repaid. Some examples of grants are:
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Academic Competitive Grant
Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant
Silas Purnell Illinois Incentive for Access (IIA) Grant
Loans have to be repaid; even if you don't finish school!
Student loans, unlike grants and work-study, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like a car loan or other loan. You cannot cancel this loan because you didn't like the education you received, quit in the middle, or didn't get a good job after school.