Scholarships, Grants, and Other Types of Financial Aid

Scholarships. Grants. Loans. Work study. You’ve heard these terms and know they can help you finance your college education, but you may not know how they work or how they differ from one another. Read on to better understand these types of financial aid and how each can help you afford your Wheaton College experience.


Scholarships are forms of gift aid, which means they do not need to be repaid. Wheaton College scholarships are generally awarded based on merit, such as commitment to deepening your Christian faith, significant academic achievement, or excellence in a particular field like music. Many of these scholarships are made possible by generous gifts from Wheaton alumni and friends, as well as the college’s endowment.

Explore scholarships available to you at Wheaton College


Grants are also forms of gift aid and do not need to be repaid. They differ from scholarships because they are calculated based on demonstrated financial need. To be considered for a grant, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Federal and state grant eligibility is determined by Wheaton College’s cost of attendance and your expected family contribution. 

After your federal and state grant eligibility is determined, you may also qualify for a Wheaton Grant. We award grants on a first-come, first-served basis, and students must reapply each semester.

View your options for federal, state, and Wheaton College grants


Loans are forms of financial aid that must be paid back with interest. Students and families typically use loans to pay any expenses that are not covered by scholarships or grants. There are several kinds of loans you can consider, including:

  • federal subsidized loans (only accrue interest at the start of the repayment period)
  • federal unsubsidized loans (interest accrues as soon as the loan is distributed)
  • loans from banks and other private institutions.

Understand and compare types of loans

Federal Work Study

Through federal work study, you can earn money to pay for college expenses through part-time jobs on and off campus. The program is open to U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens, and you must submit the FAFSA to be considered.

Need some help?

Whether you have questions about affording a Wheaton education or want more information about our academic programs, Wheaton's admissions counselors are your first point of contact.