When it comes to paying for school, you’re not alone. Grants, work-study, and low-interest loans help make college affordable. Financial aid is available from a variety of sources for college, career school, graduate school, and professional school.

Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school. Aid can come from: the U.S. federal government, the state where you live, the college you attend, or a nonprofit or private organization.

One of the best places to start is with U.S. Department of Education. ED offers three kinds of grants:

  • Discretionary grants: awarded using a competitive process.
  • Student loans or grants: to help students attend college.
  • Formula grants: uses formulas determined by Congress and has no application process.
Federal Pell Grant

Unlike a loan, a Pell Grant does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. (FPG)

State Grant Agency

Provides information on grants, scholarships, and other financial aid for college students from the state, including federally-supported state programs such as Byrd Scholarships and LEAP (Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership) grants. (SGA)

Free Scholarship Tool

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Free Scholarship Tool lets you search more than 7,000 scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other financial aid opportunities. (USDLFST)

Educational Opportunity Grant

A grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. To get an FSEOG, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) so your college can determine how much financial need you have. Students who will receive Federal Pell Grants and have the most financial need will receive FSEOGs first. The FSEOG does not need to be repaid. (FSEOG)


can help you pay for college if you plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. The TEACH Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching.



The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. The program provides federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with:

  • Home energy bills
  • Energy Crises
  • Weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs

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FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program helps homebuyers or homeowners save money on utility bills by enabling them to finance the cost of adding energy efficiency features to new or existing housing as part of their FHA insured home purchase or refinancing mortgage. (FEM)

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The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy PowerSaver loans provide three financing options—including mortgage refinancing—for homeowners to make home energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades or improvements. Low-interest loans and reduced loan fees can provide cost-effective results, especially when working with local partners and utilities that sometimes offer large rebates. (EERE)

Heating Assistance Provided ($ in Million)

Cooling Assistance Provided ($ in Million)

Weatherizing Assistiance Provided ($ in Million)



Most assistance programs for food and nutrition are administered at the state and local level but there are some national websites with information on how to find the right program tailored for your financial needs.

Here are some links to help you put food on the table:

Backpack with food provides easy access to vetted food and nutrition information from across the federal government. It serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers.)

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

To apply for SNAP benefits, you must fill out an application and return it to a local SNAP office. Each State has a different application. This helpful map of the states will assist in finding the location of local SNAP offices. (SNAP)

The Emergency Food Assistance Program

A Federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. It provides food and administrative funds to States to supplement the diets of these groups. (TEFAP)

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program

Serves about 595,000 low-income people each month and is the only USDA nutrition program that provides monthly food assistance specially targeted at low-income seniors. (CSFP)