Is financial aid the same as a loan?

This is probably a stupid question .... but do you have to pay financial aid back? You obviously have to pay a student loan back - but is financial aid the same thing ?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:00 PM on Jan. 22, 2009 in Money & Work

This question is closed and filed in the CafeMom Encyclopedia.
Answers (6)
  • You can apply for grants and grants are "free money" for school.

    Answer by slw123 at 10:02 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

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  • well I recieve financial aid. I always thought that was not something I had to pay back but then I heard the other day that I do have to pay it back.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:07 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

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  • When you filled out your FAFSA for financial aid it was so they could gather info about your income and whatever else to see what kind of aid you qualify for. Financial aid can be either student loans or grants. If it was a student loan, you would have signed paperwork that explained what you qualified for and what the terms were. They wouldn't have just given you the money without your agreement. If it was a grant, they would have sent you a letter saying something to the effect qualified for $XXX amount of money per year and it would say that it was a grant. The most common grant people get is a Pell grant. Scholarships don't have to be paid back either, but you apply for those individually and there are many different qualifications for all the different scholarships there are.

    Answer by slw123 at 10:12 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

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  • Financial Aid Is a general term for any money you get (LIke from the government or private lenders) to help pay for school so Student Loans and Pell Grants are both considered "Financial Aid" so unless it is a grant then yes you have to pay it all back.

    Answer by cristyanne at 10:15 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

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  • You Probably Have A Grant. That's Usually What Is Referred To As Financial Aid If You Go To A Community College, So No A Grant You Do Not Have To Pay Back.

    However I Would Call Your Financial Aid Office And Find Out EXACTLY What Type Of Aid You Got, Because If It Was A Student Loans Then YES You Have To Pay It Back.

    Answer by Kari_Noelle at 3:52 AM on Jan. 23, 2009

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  • Grants and scholarships you never have to pay back. Loans, on the other hand, you have to pay back.

    With loans, usually there will be detailed financial agreements to 'sign' and a promissory note as well. If there isn't enough financial aid in grant and/or scholarship, you may need to accept a loan. Often there will be 2 kinds offered: secured and unsecured. Read the offers carefully. You generally want to stay away from the unsecured loans.

    If you/your kids will need financial aid, be sure to fill out the FAFSA (you can do it online) in January. Read everything carefully, and miss NO due dates.

    Good Luck. :-)

    Answer by ss_mom at 1:29 AM on Oct. 28, 2010

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