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Financial aid can help you afford the education and training you need to advance in your career.

Financial aid money is available from a variety of sources for training programs, college, career school, graduate school, and professional school. It might come from:

  • The U.S. federal government
  • The state where you live
  • The school you attend
  • A nonprofit or private organization.

The basic types of financial aid are:

  • Grants are awards you don't have to pay back. Grants mostly come from the government, such as the Federal Pell Grant. Learn more about grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Office.
  • A loan is money that you have to pay back. Government-backed loans usually have the lowest interest rates, while loans through a private bank or other financial institution may cost you more in the long run. Learn more about loans from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Office.
  • Work-study is on-campus employment offered through the school. It helps you earn money to pay for your education. Learn more about work-study jobs from the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Financial Aid Office.

The first step to getting federal financial aid is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more about the FAFSA, and get started filling out your application.

If you’ve been laid off from a job, you may also qualify for special training benefits. Visit Opportunity.gov to learn more.

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