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Financial Aid for Criminal Justice Students
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  Financial Aid for Criminal Justice Students  

If you’re interested in getting a degree in criminal justice you may be worried about the cost. Luckily there are many financial aid options available to you. The following is a guide to help you understand your financial aid options.


Federal Student Aid is the largest provider of student financial aid in the United States. They provide more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year. More than 15 million students use Federal Student Aid to help them pay for their education.

The first step in applying for Federal Student Aid, or all aid in general, is to fill out a FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA will determine how much money you can receive in forms of scholarships, grants, and loans.


There are a variety of government loans you can apply towards your criminal justice education. Some of the most common criminal justice government loans include:

  • Stafford Loans: This is the most common form of criminal justice financial aid. Stafford loans include the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.
  • PLUS Loans: These loans are also paid through the FFEL and Direct Loan programs, but are geared towards parents rather than students. Parents must apply for these loans.

    Federal Work Study Programs:

    Federal work study (FWS) programs are a popular way for criminal justice students to receive financial aid. FWS supplements your college loans, so it therefore reduces the amount of money you need to repay after graduation.

    Through FWS programs you receive a work study job from your school; a federal, state, or local public agency; a private nonprofit organization; or a private for-profit company.

    Grants and Scholarships

    Grants and scholarships are both great sources for financial aid because you don’t have to pay this money back. Scholarships can be competitive and are usually given out with specific regulations, such as ethnicity, past GPA, gender, or other qualifiers.

    For criminal justice students, criminal justice professional associations are the best place to look for scholarships. The Police Corps in your state may offer scholarships. 



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