There are three basic types of financial aid: loans, grants and work-study. Each type has different features and advantages.


In terms of total dollars available, long-term federal loan programs provide the most dollars. Federal loans must be repaid after the grace period and/or deferment periods have expired. Students must generally remain enrolled at least half-time (five credit hours for graduate students). Multiple repayment plans may be available for most federal loans. Selected loan programs include:

  • Federal Direct Loan (unsubsidized)
  • Health Professions Student Loan
  • Loan for Disadvantaged Students
  • Nursing Student Loan
  • Primary Care Loan

Borrowers in the Federal Direct Loan Program are required to complete loan counseling prior to the first disbursement if you have not previously received a Direct Loan, Federal Family Education Loan or Supplemental Loans to Students Loan. A student will also be required to complete exit counseling before they graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time status. Visit the website to complete entrance and exit counseling.


Contact individual academic departments for information about grant or scholarship programs.


Work-study is a form of financial aid that pays wages for work performed through employment. Work-study positions are located on campus and in approved off-campus locations. Hourly wages will vary depending on skills and experience. Job listings are posted on through Handshake at VCU. When interviewing for work-study positions, students should take copies of their financial aid award notifications to show prospective employers.