Between applying for scholarships and seeking other financial aid, you're sure to encounter plenty of offers during your college application process, including scholarships and loans. All of these resources will provide you with the money you need, but many will require that you pay it back, often with interest. The best kind of aid, then, is the kind you're not required to pay back. You're likely already familiar with scholarships, which are most frequently awarded by schools as a means of encouraging specific students to attend their institutions on the basis of athletic or academic merit. But there's another form of so-called "gift aid" that you may be less informed about, and those are grants, which are often given by the government and tend to be based on financial need. Here's a breakdown of the most common types of grants.