Financial Aid Options

Wondering how families pay for college? There are three primary sources of financial aid to help students with college and training costs: Grants, scholarships, and loans. All types require a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and sometimes an additional application. 

Learn more about how financial aid works and watch our virtual Managing College Costs event to learn about financial aid for college or career training after high school. Watch the video and find resources >


All types of financial aid—including Vermont grants and VSAC-assisted scholarships—require a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and an additional application. 

Learn more and start your FAFSA

Grants—federal and state aid for Vermont residents with financial need

Grants are a form of student aid that you do not need to work for or repay. That’s why they’re often called “gift aid.” Grants are typically awarded based on financial need, taking into consideration a family’s income and assets. There are many different grants available—including Vermont state grants, federal grants, and grants given out directly by your school. VSAC can help you access the full range of grant opportunities.



Scholarships—for Vermont students of all kinds

Scholarships—like grants—are another form of student aid known as gift aid. Scholarships are offered by many different groups, organizations, and even individuals. They are offered for all kinds of attributes—and to all kinds of students. In fact, if you live in Vermont, you can take advantage of scholarships that are just for Vermonters. VSAC can help guide you through the scholarship search process.


Student loans—for undergraduates, graduate/professional students, and parents

Student loans can help cover the gap between the financial aid you can access through grants and scholarships—and the full price of higher education. Student loans may appear as part of the financial aid offers you receive from schools. But loans must be paid back with interest (the fee you pay the lender for borrowing their money), so it’s important to compare your options—including VSAC’s student loans and parent loans—and keep track of how much money you’re borrowing. 

To help students be loan-smart, VSAC publishes “My Education Loans” a no-nonsense guide that walks students and families through the borrowing process and ways to avoid taking on too much debt. Download the guide (PDF)  download icon or request a printed copy.