Thank you for visiting

If you are seeing this message, you are doing so for one of several reasons:

  1. You are using a text based browser
  2. You are viewing this site on a web-enabled cell phone
  3. You are using an outdated browser which doesn't fully support Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

If you fall into the third category, you'll need to upgrade your browser to view the way it was intended to be viewed.

To make your life a little simpler, here are some links to CSS compliant browsers:

Any one of these browsers properly supports the CSS used on this site and will allow you to view this site as intended.

National Application Center :: pay for college

Plan, explore, and apply to college using these great tools.
Types of Aid


A grant is financial assistance provided for college that is not expected to be repaid. Grants can be given by the institution (Institutional Grants) or through the federal government (Federal Pell Grants or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants).

Institutional Grants

Most institutional grants are provided by the college to help make up the difference between college costs and what a family can be expected to contribute through income, savings, loans, and student earnings.

Other institutional grants, known as merit awards or merit scholarships, are awarded on the basis of academic achievement. Some merit awards are offered only to students whose families demonstrate financial need; others are awarded without regard to a family's finances.

Some grants come with special privileges or obligations. You'll want to find out about the types of grants awarded by each college you are considering.

Federal Pell Grants

Pell grants are need-based awards for students with substantial financial need. The amount of the grant is determined by:

  • the family's financial need
  • the cost of attendance at the college the student is attending
  • the length of the program in which the student is enrolled
  • full- or part-time enrollment

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)

Colleges distribute this money from the federal government to students with financial need. Eligible recipients must be enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited college or university.