Federal Student Financial Aid At A Glance


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What is Federal Student Financial Aid?
This is financial aid for students enrolled in an eligible program at a school participating in the federal student financial aid program. (Types of schools include: a 2-year or 4-year public or private educational institution, career schools, or trade schools.)

What types of Federal Student Financial Aid are there?
There are 3 categories of Federal Student Financial Aid:

1. GRANTS - financial aid you don't have to repay. They include Federal Pell Grants, which range from $400 to $4,050, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), which range from $100 to $4,000.

2. LOANS - borrowed money you must repay. Loans are available for both undergraduate and graduate students, and are also available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. Types of loans available include: Stafford and Perkins Loans (for students), and PLUS Loans (for parents).

3. WORK-STUDY - money you earn while enrolled in school that will help pay for educational expenses. This program encourages community service work and when possible - work related to your course of study. Available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

What types of expenses can Federal Student Financial Aid be used for?
School-related expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation.

Who is eligible to receive Federal Student Financial Aid?
In order to receive Federal Student Financial Aid, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security Number
  • Demonstrate by one of the following means that you are qualified to obtain a postsecondary education:
    • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate
    • Complete a high school education in a home school setting approved under state law
    • Pass an approved ability-to-benefit (ATB) test
    • Meet other standards your state establishes which the U.S. Department of Education has approved
  • Enroll in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate
  • Register (or have registered) with the Selective Service if you're a male between 18 and 25

How do you apply for Federal Student Financial Aid?

To apply for Federal Student Financial Aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - either the online version or the paper FAFSA. To apply online, you can go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. You can get a paper FAFSA from a high school guidance office, college financial aid office, a local public library, or the Federal Student Aid Information Center by calling 1-800-433-3243.

Here's a summary of the various types of Federal Student Aid available:

Federal Student Aid Program Type of Aid Program Details Annual Maximum Award Limits
Federal Pell Grant Grant; does not have to be repaid Available almost exclusively to undergraduates; all eligible students will receive the Federal Pell Grant amounts they qualify for $ 400 - $4,050
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant(FSEOG) Grant; does not have to be repaid For undergraduates with exceptional financial need; priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients; funds depend on availability at school $4,000
Federal Work-Study Money is earned while attending school; does not have to be repaid For undergraduate and graduate students; jobs can be on campus or off campus; students are paid at least minimum wage No annual maximum
Federal Perkins Loan Loan; must be repaid Five percent loans for undergraduate and graduate students; payment is owed to the school that made the loan $4,000 for undergraduate students;
$6,000 for graduate students
Subsidized Stafford Loan Loan: must be repaid Subsidized; U.S. Department of Education pays interest while borrower is in school and during grace and deferment periods $2,625 to $8,500, depending on grade level
Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Loan: must be repaid Unsubsidized; Borrower is responsible for interest during life of the loan $2,625 to $18,500 depending on grade level (includes any subsidized amounts received for the same period)
Federal PLUS Loan Loan: must be repaid Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students Cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives



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