Types of Aid

Award Guides

Review these documents for important information about financial aid and the aid process after being awarded.

In addition to the information available via the link in each aid type section below, the Aid Programs Chart in the Financial Aid Award Guide has details about the various aid programs.


Grants are considered gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Most gift aid is based on some type of need-based eligibility requirement; therefore, the student must complete the FAFSA to apply for most grants. Sources of grants include federal, state, private, and institutional funds. Although grants are a very desirable source of financial aid, the availability of grants is generally limited to the neediest students. 

Learn more about Grants.


Loan programs are a major source of financial aid for many students. All loans represent debt that must be repaid, however they may be thought of as an investment in the student's future as long as the borrower is prepared to meet the repayment responsibilities. Completion of a FAFSA is required for all federal loan programs.

Learn more about Loans.


Scholarships are monetary gifts from community, private, and campus sources and are usually based on academic merit or some other criteria. 

Learn more about Scholarships.

Student Employment

Federal Work-Study (FWS) allows a student to earn money to help pay educational expenses through on-campus or community-based employment; it does not have to be repaid. FWS encourages work in community service and work related to a student's course of study to the extent possible.

Learn more about Student Employment.

Military Education Benefits

The University of Wisconsin Colleges is fully approved for the certification of education benefits for veterans and veterans' dependents under both federal and State of WI Veterans Affairs programs.

Learn more about Military Education Benefits.