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
Step 1: FAFSA, to learn more about the FAFSA.
federal programs include the:
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.