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 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 federal, state, and grants given out directly by your school. VSAC can help you access the full range of grant opportunities.

Federal Grants

State grants for VT Residents

Non-Vermont residents should check their state programs for available grants.


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're 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.


Scholarships for Vermont residents

Workforce Development Funding—grants and interest-free forgivable loans for college or training in critical job fields

The Vermont Legislature passed a historic bill in June 2022 which invests millions of dollars of state and federal funding into initiatives designed to address Vermont’s workforce shortage. This new funding will reduce or eliminate tuition for eligible students pursuing careers in critical fields such as skilled trades, early childhood education, nursing, mental health care and more.

VSAC, in partnership with other Vermont agencies, will offer grants and interest-free forgivable loans that will help eligible students afford the degree or training they need to pursue the career they want.


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.