Financial Aid, or, "how to pay for college" is a topic that will be explored in great detail as students enter high school. Middle school students and parents are encouraged to explore the website www.fafsa.gov at any time, to become knowledgeable about the many opportunities for federal grants (free money for college). Grants are monies offered to college students based primarily on the financial needs of students and their families. Other ways to fund a college education include scholarships (usually athletic and /or merit-based) and student loans. If a student loan is sought, reading the "fine print" of the loan is crucial. Understanding that this loan must be re-paid, with interest, within a certain timeframe is very important. Many college students are now graduating with a large student-debt to pay off, which can be very challenging and stressful for a young adult.