Federal Student Aid

To help cover college expenses, federal student aid is an important option for students to explore. Federal Student Aid consists of grants, student loans and work-study programs.

  • Grants are free money that you do not need to pay back. This is typically the best kind of Federal Student Aid.
  • Student loans are borrowed money that you do need to pay back.
  • Work-study is earned money that you do not need to pay back, but you do need to work to earn.

The only way to receive any type of federal financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal Pell Grant Program

The Federal Pell Grant Program is designed to provide grant money to those students who demonstrate significant financial need. The amounts an undergraduate can receive changes yearly.

Features

  • Does not have to be repaid
  • Undergraduates only (one exception)
  • Based on financial need
  • Must complete FAFSA to apply

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Student Loans

Federal Student Loans (may also be called Stafford Loans) provide borrowed money to both undergrad and graduate students. There are two basic types: Subsidized and Unsubsidized.

Subsidized Student Loans

  • Available to undergraduate students
  • Low fixed interest loan
  • No payments while enrolled in school
  • Interest is paid by the US Department of Education while you’re in school and maintain at least half-time status

Unsubsidized Student Loans

  • Available to undergrad and graduate students
  • Low fixed interest loan
  • No payments while enrolled in school
  • Interest begins to accrue when loan is taken

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PLUS Loans

PLUS Loans, also known as Parent Loans, are available for parents of undergrad students and graduate students to take out to help pay for education expenses.

Features

  • Fixed interest rate
  • Help pay for expenses not covered by financial aid
  • Maximum amount is determined by cost of attendance minus other financial aid received
  • Student must still complete the FAFSA

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Perkins Loans

Perkins Loans are specifically for students with exceptional financial need.

Features

  • Available to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Based on financial need
  • Low-interest loan

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Work-Study Program

Through the Work-Study Program, students earn money to use towards their education through part-time work either on- or off-campus.

Features

  • Available to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Based on financial need
  • Part-time employment while enrolled
  • Job is not guaranteed, you still need to search and apply

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