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  Federal Government
The U.S. Federal government offers a variety of programs designed to help students finance the cost of their education at a college, university, professional, technical, vocational, or accredited school in the United States. There are several federal programs available for U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled at least half-time student in a degree program, making satisfactory academic progress, and not in default or owing a return repayment on a grant or loan. Financial aid offered from the federal government is based on financial need.

In order to receive financial assistance from the federal government, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used by the U.S. Department of Education to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and eligibility for certain federal programs. Visit Pay for School – Step 1: FAFSA, to learn more about the FAFSA.

 The federal programs include the:
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a grant that does not have to be repaid. This grant is available to undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time; based on financial need. The grant amounts range from $400 to $4,050 depending on the estimated family contribution.
Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins loan is awarded to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time; based on exceptional financial need. This is a loan that must be paid back. Students are encouraged to apply early as this program has limited funding.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
FSEOG is available to undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time; based on financial need. Assistance offered varies. Awards can range from $100 to $4,000 per year.
Federal College Work-Study Program (CWSP)
CWSP is available to graduate or undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time; based on need. Students can work a maximum of 20 - 25 hours per week for at least minimum wage.
Federal Supplemental Loan for Students (SLS)
SLS is available to graduate and independent undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time. Amount available: $4,000 a year for the first and second years of undergraduate study; $5,000 for the third and fourth years of study provided the student attends a full academic year. Total funds available: $23,000 for undergraduates; $73,000 for graduate/professional students (including undergraduate amounts).
Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
PLUS is available to parents of dependent students to allow parents to borrow money to help their children pay for college costs. The student must be enrolled at least half-time. Parent loans are not based on financial need. The amount borrowed each year can be up to the college cost of attendance less other financial aid. The parent can obtain the application from a local lending institution or the Financial Aid Office of the school you are interested in attending. There is no limit on the cumulative maximum total of the loan. However, parents cannot defer payments, which start two months after the loan is fully disbursed.
Federal Stafford Loan Program (subsidized and unsubsidized)
All Federal Direct Stafford Loans are either subsidized (the government pays the interest while you're in school) or unsubsidized (you pay all the interest, although the payments can be deferred until after graduation). Stafford Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time and in good standing or accepted for enrollment at eligible institution; based on financial need. Maximum loans available are: $2,625 for freshmen; $3,500 for sophomores: ; $5,500 for juniors and seniors; and $8,500 for graduate or professional students, but not to exceed $23,000 for undergraduates or $65,500 for undergraduate and graduate loans combined. You can obtain an application from your local lending institution or the Financial Aid Office of the school you are interested in attending.

The Student Guide is the most comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. This guide will provides detailed information about: student eligibility, financial need, dependency status, applying, special circumstances, withdrawals, deadlines, types of Student Federal Aid (award amounts, interest, etc.), borrower responsibilities and rights, important terms, telephone numbers and web sites, and more. This publication is updated each award year. The Student Guide is available in English and Spanish, an can be downloaded from the U.S Department of Education’s web site.

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