Most financial aid is provided by the federal and state governments. Colleges, scholarship organizations, and employers are also important aid sources. Please read this article, “Understanding Financial Aid: Important Information to use when you Apply for Financial Aid”
Many of these scholarship sources are merit-based, however you should have a really good understanding of the financial aid process and the use of your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) number. Please read this article, “Scholarships and your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution)”.