Educator Toolbox

TXGU Activity: Diving into Financial Aid


Created By:
 Texas GEAR UP

Grade Level: 9th/10th

Introduction for Educators: Let's face it: No matter how prepared they are, many of your students will have to take out some loans to pay for college. If they don't repay the loans on time, interest will accrue. If they don't begin to pay their bills soon, costs can spin out of control.

Not all financial aid is created equal. Help your students identify and understand the various types of repayment options, and save them years of heartache.

Introduction for Students: Scholarships, grants, and loans are all ways of paying for college. But do you know what makes them different?

The more you learn about how financial aid works now, the more money you’ll be able to save in the long run.

The Activity: Familiarize your students with how the loan process works. Then, identify how different loans are repaid. 

Have students work with their parents, teachers, and friends to learn the terms below. Once they have a good understanding of what each term means, ask them to write a definition in their own words. 

  • Federal Loan
  • Private Loan
  • Subsidized Loan
  • Unsubsidized Loan
  • Deferment

Use the following websites to help in their research:


Loans may help students go to college, but they have to be repaid. And the sooner they pay them back, the better!

Bonus Features: Are any of your students considering becoming a teacher? Some loans can be forgiven if recipients spend a few years teaching at certain schools. Have students visit to learn more about this great opportunity to fund their learning.