This article on reading the financial aid package clearly is invaluable. It clearly breaks down the differences, and what you can expect, from scholarships and grants.
Remember: scholarships and grants are monies that you don’t have you pay back. Loans, you always have to pay back.
Most students will get a package that has an offer for grants and loans. Scholarships must be applied for. Start looking early and apply for every one you can. Many scholarships are not even awarded because no worthy people apply. I reiterate: apply for every grant that you believe you qualify for.
Wards of the state (i.e. foster youth and orphans) are usually given independent status instead of dependent status as we have no one to depend on. This affords us the ability to receive more grant money and fewer loans. If this is a bit confusing, call in to our radio show on Tuesday, April 14th at 10am to ask your questions.