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Types of Aid

Gift Aid

Grants and Scholarships are frequently referred to as "Gift-Aid" because they typically do not need to be paid back. Grants are often based on a student's Financial Need, which is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Scholarships are usually merit-based.

Self-Help Aid

Student Employment and Loans are considered "Self-Help Aid" because they require additional responsibilities for the student. Loans are required to be repayed with interest and Work Study requires funds to be earned.


To learn more about the specific Financial Aid Programs, follow the links on the right.

Sources of Aid

There are four main Sources for Financial Aid.



Federal Department of Education

The Federal Department of Education is the largest source for Financial Aid in the country. Federal Student Aid offers low-interest Loan Programs, Work-Study, Military Programs, and several Grant Programs.

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is the Financial Aid Agency for the State of Illinois. ISAC offers the Monetary Award Program (MAP Grant), Military Aid Programs, and Teacher Aid Programs. Typically, Financial Aid offered by ISAC is for Illinois Residents to attend schools within Illinois.

Western Illinois University

WIU offers Scholarships based on Merit and Financial Need. To see what scholarships are available visit the Quad Cities and Macomb Scholarship Pages.

Outside/Private Sources

Outside and Private Sources can be local Community-Based Organizations that may offer assistance in the form of various Scholarships or Financial Institutions (Banks and Credit Unions) that may offer Private or Alternative Student Loans. It is recommended to use Private Student Loans as a last resort for funding your education.


Financial Aid Programs