Financial Aid or Student Aid is offered in three primary categories.
Payment plans - when students do not have to pay the tuition up front. The result of a payment plan is you get to start the program using affordable monthly payments with no interest.
Student loans - when students do not have to pay the tuition up front. The result of a student loan is accumulated debt with interest that you pay back after completing your degree or discontinuing your education.
Scholarships - partial or full tuition would be paid by a third party. The result is the student is only responsible for any tuition not covered by the scholarship plus you will have to research, apply, and be granted the scholarship. Scholarships are limited in number so not everyone can get a scholarship.
Penn Foster offers Payment Plans as an alternative option student loans.