Types of Financial Aid

Undergraduate and graduate/professional students at the University of Louisville manage the cost of college with various types of financial aid, with 97% of students receiving some form of assistance.

Different types of student aid are merit- or need-based, are gifts, or require repayment. Understanding the differences among grants, scholarships and loans is key to making an informed decision about financing your education.

To receive any kind of aid from federal and state sources and the University of Louisville, make sure you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Student Financial Aid Office reviews your federal financial aid offer and informs you of your awarded aid.

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Grants come from sources including the federal government, the state government, the university or outside sources such as nonprofit organizations. Considered “gift aid,” grants can be either need-based or not need-based and typically do not require repayment. 58% of UofL students receive some form of institutional grant aid.

  • Federal Grants: Pell Grant, Teach Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Institutional Grants: Institutional Need-Based Grant, Institutional University Grant and Martin Luther King Award

Explore Grants


When you submit the FAFSA, you will be considered for federal aid, which often includes loans. These loans are borrowed funds that you must repay with interest. While they differ from grants and scholarships, which typically don’t require repayment, loans offer a vital means to finance your education. It’s important to understand the terms and repayment conditions of each loan.

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Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Direct federal loans from the U.S. Department of Education (DoE) are the most common form of student loan. Undergraduate students (and their parents) and graduate and professional students can be eligible for subsidized or unsubsidized federal loans.

For subsidized loans, the U.S. DoE covers the interest that accumulates while you study and the six months after and during deferment periods. Unsubsidized loans require you to eventually pay the interest that accumulates while you study after payments begin, but you can make interest-only payments before the loan payments are due.

Parent PLUS Loans

Once the first financial aid award notification is delivered, parents of undergraduate dependent students can apply for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan to assist with education expenses. This loan requires a credit check for the parent or an endorser.

Graduate/Professional PLUS Loans

Graduate and professional students have the option to apply for a direct federal PLUS Loan to borrow up to the total cost of attendance. After filing the FAFSA, graduate/professional students are automatically evaluated for eligibility for this unsubsidized loan. However, to qualify for this loan, students must be enrolled part time.

Private Alternative Loans

Alternative loans are borrowed from a private bank or other lending institution, not the federal government or the university. Students may elect to apply for alternative loans to supplement their financial aid or if they are not eligible for federal student loans.

Scholarships and Other Aid Resources

The University of Louisville is committed to providing all students with access to affordable and valuable college education. One of the ways we help our students cover their tuition and other costs is through scholarships. Scholarships are gift aid, typically not repaid. They can be sponsored by the university itself, a specific department or degree program or from outside sources, depending on either merit or financial need.

Students can apply for outside scholarships and easily report any scholarship awards they receive to their financial aid file. Students participating in study abroad programs also have access to study abroad scholarship funding.

Explore Scholarships

Current students: Access Scholarship Universe, a one-stop tool to locate scholarship opportunities.

State Aid

University of Louisville students who are Kentucky residents may be eligible to receive state-funded financial aid managed by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

Financial aid from the State of Kentucky includes both scholarships and grants and does not include loans. These include the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship and College Access Program (CAP) Grant, among others.


Undergraduate and graduate/professional students can earn money while studying by working part time on campus. The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program provides students with financial aid in the form of hourly wages, giving them the opportunity to diversify their work experiences across various offices, libraries and departments around campus.

Graduate assistantships are available in some departments; review the department’s webpage for your program of interest for specific information.

Explore Work-Study

Current students: Access Career Service Symplicity to search for campus job opportunities.

More Types of Aid

Summer Aid

Students who receive financial aid may be eligible to receive funding to cover summer course costs. Once you finalize enrollment in a summer term, you may submit a request on ULink that your current FAFSA on file be reviewed for summer financial aid awards. If awarded summer student aid, the same process of verification and disbursement that occurs in fall and spring will apply.

Summer Financial Aid


Tuition waivers are an avenue to reduce the amount of tuition posted to your account by the Bursar’s Office. Tuition waivers exist for students who apply to the University of Louisville and are (or whose immediate family are) veterans, first responders, state employees, senior citizens, teachers and more. Explore waiver details and required documentation.

Tuition Waivers

Metropolitan College

Through the Metropolitan College tuition benefit partnership program, undergraduate students at the University of Louisville can work the night shift at the UPS facility at the Louisville International Airport in return for fully paid tuition and other benefits – not to mention a steady paycheck and opportunities for career development, no matter your major.

Explore Metro College

Build Financial Wellness

The best way to think about paying for college is to elevate the amount of gift financial aid you can receive (scholarships, grants) and supplement it with out-of-pocket payments and loan-type aid if you decide it is necessary and if you understand the loan repayment conditions.

With our dedication to furthering the amount of grant and scholarship financial aid awards our students receive, we’re proud that the number of UofL students who take out loans is 12% lower than the average across public schools, according to PrepScholar.com. If you do take out loans, we can help make the entire process more transparent and feel manageable.

No matter what path you choose, the Student Financial Aid Office is here to help you and answer any questions you may have.

Review financial wellness information and resources.

Explore Further

Contact Student Financial Aid at University of Louisville

University of Louisville Office of Financial Aid
Houchens Building, Rm 110, Belknap Campus
2211 S Brook St
Louisville, KY 40292
Call:(502) 852-5511

Apply for Financial Aid at the University of Louisville

The Student Financial Aid Office can clarify any questions about the different types of financial aid, if any, that you receive as a student at the University of Louisville, from application to repayment.

In addition to pursuing outside grants and scholarships, the FAFSA is a centralized application for students to apply for eligibility for various types of financial aid, from University of Louisville scholarships to federal student loans.

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