The Catholic University of America assists students in financing their education by offering financial assistance in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs. These programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Catholic University. Scholarships generally use merit or academic achievement as the main criterion. Most grant and loan programs are need based. These programs help students pay the difference between the cost of education and the amount that they (and their parents, if they are dependent students) can contribute.