GRANTSFederal Pell GrantIs a Federal grant awarded to students on the basis of financial need and does not have to be repaid. These grants are considered the foundation of Federal Financial Aid, to which Aid from other Federal and non-Federal sources might be added. Pell Grants are only awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. In order to apply for a Pell Grant, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate the financial information provided on this application to determine a student’s eligibility for a Pell Grant. Award amounts vary based on a student’s financial need and enrollment status.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)Is a need-based grant funded by the Federal Government and available on a limited basis to eligible undergraduate students. Priority is given to students with the greatest financial need and students don’t have to apply for this Grant. You must enroll at least half-time to receive this grant.
Federal Work Study ProgramIs a need-based program funded by the Federal Government to provide part-time employment opportunities to eligible undergraduate students to assist with educational expenses while gaining valuable work experience. Federal Work Study students can work up to 20 hours per week in a variety of jobs on campus. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient's course of study. You must show a Financial Aid need and must enroll at least half time to participate in the Federal Work Study program.
LOANS Federal Student Loan Code of ConductDirect Stafford LoansAre low-interest loans and the lender/servicer is the U.S. Department of Education. The Direct loan Program offers loans to students who need help paying for their educational expenses. Direct Loans include the Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized), the Direct PLUS Loan for Parents (for parents of dependent undergraduate students), and the Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate students. Unlike scholarships and grants, Educational loans must be repaid with interest.
Direct Subsidized LoansAre loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher Education at a College or at a career College. Repayment begins 6 months after a student graduates or is no longer enrolled at least half time. The interest rate on Federal Direct Subsidized loans borrowed by undergraduate students between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 is 4.66%. If a student qualifies, the maximum amount of a Subsidized Stafford Loan is $3,500 for first-year students, $4,500 for second-year students and $5,500 for third-year and fourth-year students.
Direct Unsubsidized LoansAre loans for both undergraduate and graduate students that are not based on financial need. Interest is charged during in-school, deferment, and grace periods. The interest rate on Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans borrowed by undergraduate students between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 is 4.66% and the interest rate for graduate/professional students is 6.21%. You are charged interest on this loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If the interest is allowed to accumulate, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and increase the amount to be repaid. If a student qualifies, the maximum amount of an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is $6,000 for first and second year students, $7,000 for third and fourth year students, and $20,500 for graduate students. Award amounts are dependent upon a student’s dependency status on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal Direct PLUS LoansAre loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students, graduate and professional students. It is an affordable, low-interest loan designed to help students and parents pay for a college education. Borrowers may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus other Financial Aid received. Dependent students whose parents do not qualify for a PLUS Loan may borrow the Direct Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan up to the student’s loan limit based on grade level. The interest rate of the PLUS loan varies annually, but will never exceed 9%. Generally, interest charges and principal payments begin within 60 days of loan receipt, but borrowers may apply for deferment of their payments of interest and principal. The interest rate on Federal Direct PLUS loans borrowed between July 1st 2014 and June 30, 2015 is 7.21%
How do I apply for a Stafford Loan?As with all federal student aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Schools use the information from your FAFSA to determine how much student aid you will receive. Stafford Loans are generally included as part of your award package, which may contain other types of aid to help meet the costs of going to college or career school.
Master Promissory Note—When you receive a Stafford Loan for the first time, you must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan and any accrued interest and fees to the Department of Education. It also explains the terms and conditions of your loan. www.studentloans.gov is the website to complete your Master Promissory Note
How much can I borrow?There are limits on the maximum amount you are eligible to receive each academic year (annual loan limit) and in total (aggregate loan limits). These limits are shown in the chart in the next section. The actual amount you can borrow each year depends on your year in school, whether you are a dependent or independent student, and other factors, and may be less than the maximum amounts shown in the loan limit chart. Your school will determine what types of loans and how much you may borrow.
Depending on your financial need, you may be eligible to receive a subsidized loan for an amount up to the annual subsidized loan borrowing limit for your level of study. If you have education expenses that have not been met by subsidized loans and other aid, you may also receive an unsubsidized loan so long as you don't exceed the combined subsidized and unsubsidized annual loan limits.
Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits
The following chart provides maximum annual and aggregate (total) loan limits for subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans.
Note: These annual loan limit amounts are the maximum yearly amounts you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. You can have one type of loan or a combination of both. Because you can't borrow more than your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you'll get, you may receive less than the annual maximum amounts. Also, the annual loan limits assume that your program of study is at least a full academic year. The maximum annual and total loan limits include any Stafford Loans you may have received under the FFEL Program.
How will I get the loan money?You'll be paid through your school, generally in at least two installments. No installment may exceed one-half of your loan amount. Your school will use your loan money first to pay for tuition and fees, room and board, and other school charges. If any loan money remains, you'll receive the funds by check or other means, unless you give the school written authorization to hold the funds until later in the enrollment period.
Generally, if you're a first-year undergraduate student and a first-time borrower, your school cannot disburse your first payment until 30 days after the first day of your enrollment period.