What Are the Types of Financial Aid?

The three types of financial aid fall into two basic categories: either gift aid or self-help aid. Like the name says, gift aid is assistance received that does not typically have to be repaid. Self-help aid includes work opportunities and loans, and is called self-help because the individual takes responsibility for receiving this type of aid.

  1. Grants and Scholarships:  This is considered "gift aid" and does not need to be repaid. Eligibility is based on a student's financial need as determined by the FAFSA and CSS Profile. It is offered by the federal and some state governments as well as Franklin & Marshall College. Also, read the information on Outside Scholarships on this page.
  2. Loans: A loan is a type of “self-help” aid that lets you borrow money from the government, banks or other lending institutions. Since it’s “self-help” aid, it must be paid back with added interest.  When considering loans to finance your education, we recommend exhausting all federal loan options before considering a private student loan. Federal Direct loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education and the FAFSA must be filed to be considered. There are three types: subsidized, unsubsidized, and parent PLUS. Loans can be awarded based on financial need (subsidized loans) or not on financial need (unsubsidized loans). Your loan eligibility will be determined after your grants, scholarships and Work-Study program(s) have been considered. 
  3. Work-Study: Earned through on-campus employment, a Work-Study job is different from other jobs for the following two reasons: (1) the hours are flexible to ensure that you have enough time to study, and (2) when you apply for financial aid the following year, the money you earned through this program isn't used to determine your financial need.  Work-study wages are NOT credited to a student's bill since this money must be earned. 

Grants and Scholarships 


Please read the Student Lending Code of Conduct.



The Student Employment Office website provides more specific information about the Student Employment process.


Outside Scholarship Policy 

Students are required to notify the Office of Financial Aid of all outside awards received, including awards paid directly to the student.

Email the Office of Financial Aid and include a copy of any correspondence from the scholarship donor. You should provide this information as soon as you become aware of the award.

Scholarship checks are to be mailed to:
          Franklin & Marshall College
          ATTN: Cashier
          P.O. Box 3003
          Lancaster, PA  17604-3003

Outside scholarships awarded to F&M students will benefit students to the greatest extent possible. Outside scholarship awards will be added on top of a student's financial aid award package, dollar by dollar, up to meeting full Federal aid eligibility - the maximum limit of all financial aid awards that a student may receive from any source.  Should any outside scholarship dollars exceed a student's maximum Federal aid eligibility, the College will not reduce its own institutional grant aid that has already been awarded until total gift aid reaches the student's Cost of Attendance.

The College will first reduce the self-help portion (loans and/or job) of the need-based aid package that has already been awarded to the student.  The order of the reduction will be Federal Work Study, F&M Loan, and Federal Direct Loan.  After reducing all eligible, awarded self-help aid, any remaining outside scholarship amount in excess will not reduce Franklin & Marshall grant.

Institutional Need-Based Aid Policy 

All admission applicants must apply for institutional need-based financial aid from Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) prior to acceptance to the College.

Therefore, as an admission applicant completing the Financial Aid Intent question on the Common or the Coalition Application, the response must be “YES,” in order to be considered for institutional need-based aid during the duration of their matriculation at the College.

Students may apply and will be considered for federal financial aid every year whether or not they applied for institutional need-based aid as a first-year or transfer student. Federal financial aid includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study and the Federal Direct Loan Program.

Appeals due to changes in a family’s financial situation (such as loss of employment or additional child(ren) enrolling full-time in a four-year, undergraduate degree program), will be considered by the Office of Financial Aid. Parent(s) are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss their situation and to determine what documents must be submitted. The Office of Financial Aid makes every effort to provide additional support when extenuating circumstances occur, though funds may be limited.

Currently enrolled students who wish to request financial aid for the first time due to a change in financial circumstances must meet all filing deadlines. Aid consideration is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents and will be based on available funds and demonstrated institutional need.

Eight (8) Semester Limit - Students with demonstrated need can receive need-based institutional aid for up to eight (8) semesters as long as they remain in good academic standing and submit the required documents (FAFSA, CSS Profile, federal tax documents (tax return, all schedules, and all W-2s) by APRIL 1st.

Students are generally eligible to receive need-based institutional funds for a maximum of eight (8) semesters. Federal aid is still available past the eighth semester, but may not be sufficient to cover a student’s educational expenses. It is therefore in the student’s best interest financially to complete eight course units per academic year. Appeals for a ninth semester of campus funds are considered on a case-by-case basis.


Student Lending Code of Conduct 

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of August 14, 2008, requires that campuses participating in federal Title IV student aid programs publish a code of conduct, serving as the formal guiding principles in ensuring the integrity of the student loan process and ensuring the ethical conduct of Franklin & Marshall employees in regard to student loan practices.

We participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program through the United States Department of Education. This program includes Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct Parent PLUS loans.

Private/Alternative Education loans are also processed for students at their request as needed.

We do not maintain a preferred lender list for private/alternative student loans nor do we recommend any private lender.  Our office provides a historical list of private lenders our students have used on ELMSelect and the lenders are displayed in no particular order.  

To avoid any conflict of interest with the responsibilities of our employees with respect to parent, student, and private/alternative loans, the Franklin & Marshall College Student Lending Code of Conduct prohibits the following:

  • Revenue sharing arrangement with any lender. We will not promote or recommend any lender in exchange for a fee or other material benefit from a lender.

  • The solicitation or acceptance of gifts from a lender, guarantor or servicer by anyone with responsibilities with respect to loans at the institution.

  • Refusing to certify/originate or otherwise delay certification/origination of any loan, regardless of the lender the borrower selects.

  • The acceptance of any funds to be used for private/alternative education loans in exchange for the institution providing concessions to the private lender.

  • Requesting or accepting assistance with financial aid office staffing from any lender.

  • Compensation of any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans

  • Compensation for service on an advisory board, commission, or group established by lenders or guarantors, except for reimbursement for reasonable expenses.