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Aid Step 4: Use Federal Aid Programs to Finance College

Step 4 Summarizes the Federal Financial Aid Options
that may be awarded. Federal aid programs are the most common aid programs available. Try to get the maximum amounts available.
(you can learn more - links scroll to information below)
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Financial Aid Step 4:

About Federal Grants

Grants are generally awarded by federal and state governments for students in extreme financial need.

The grant is gift money that does not have to paid back. All federal grants require you to file the FAFSA form to determine eligibility. Grants are administered and disbursed by the schools.

 

There are four types of Federal Aid Grants:

  1. Pell Grant:

    The most common federal grant. It is awarded to undergraduate students only (and in some cases, post-baccalaureate students in teacher certification programs).

    The amounts awarded range from $400-to-$4,050 per academic year. The Pell Grant is reserved for the neediest students.

    To see if you are eligible for the Pell Grant, you must first submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

    It will use a formula to estimate the qualified amount based on the EFC and cost of attendance (see aid step1 for EFC information). Any eligible amount will be noted in your financial award letter from your school:

    click to open FAFSA links and information


    download the Student Guide Book for further information:
    PDF file from the US. Dept. of Education





  2. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG):

    This grant is available for qualified undergraduate applicants who show exceptional financial need. The amounts awarded range from $100-to-$4,000.

    You must first compete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to see if you qualify. It will use a formula to estimate the qualified amount based on the EFC and cost of attendance (see note 1 for EFC information). Any eligible amount will be noted in your financial award letter from your school:

    click to open FAFSA links and information


    download the Student Guide Book for further information:
    PDF file from the US. Dept. of Education






  3. Academic Competitiveness Grant:


    An Academic Competitiveness Grant will provide up to $750 for the first year of undergraduate study and up to $1,300 for the second year of undergraduate study to full-time students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and who had successfully completed a rigorous high school program, as determined by the state or local education agency and recognized by the Secretary of Education.

    Second year students must also have maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0. The Academic Competitiveness Grant award is in addition to the student's Pell Grant award.


    download the Student Guide Book for further information:
    PDF file from the US. Dept. of Education

     

  4. National SMART Grant:


    A National SMART Grant will provide up to $4,000 for each of the third and fourth years of undergraduate study to full-time students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and who are majoring in physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, or engineering or in a foreign language determined critical to national security.

    The student must also have maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in coursework required for the major. The National SMART Grant award is in addition to the student's Pell Grant award.


    download the US Department of Education Student Aid Booklet for more detailed information about federal grants


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Financial Aid Step 4:

Federal Work Study Programs

Federal Work-Study Program offers work-study programs

For both undergraduate and graduate students where the student can work part-time on campus or in the community to earn money to help pay for education expenses.

 

Students are paid at the federal minimum wage (or more) on an hourly basis —

The wage is dependent upon your skill set and work requirement. Graduate students may be paid hourly or by salary.

Work assignments can be on-campus and off-campus work in public-related services. The amount of work is determined by your school and cannot exceed the Federal Work-Study award.

Contact your school's financial aid office for information about the Work-Study program.

You must first compete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form

click to open FAFSA links and information



download the US Department of Education Student Aid Booklet for more detailed information about federal grants

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Financial Aid Step 4:

About Federal Student Loans

Perkins Loans:

Low-interest (5% percent) federal student loans awarded to undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.

You can borrow up to $4,000 for each year of undergraduate study; $6,000 for each year of graduate or professional study.

The total amount you can borrow as an undergraduate is $20,000 after you complete two years of undergraduate study; $40,000 for graduate and professional.

The loan does not charge origination fees. Your school becomes the lender using funds shared by the federal government. You must repay this loan to your school.

For more student loan information:
www.ed.gov/prog_info/.../perkins.html

 

FFELP (Federal Family Education Loan Program):

The most common form of self-help aid. These are loans made to students (Stafford loans) and parents and graduates (PLUS loans) from banks, credit unions and other lenders that participate in the FFELP program.

These student loans are insured by the federal government that allow lenders to lend money at lower-than-normal rates. Most schools participate in FFELP.

More student information available:
Stafford Loans | Grad PLUS Loans | Parent PLUS

 

FDSLP (Federal Direct Student Loan Program):

Exactly like the FFELP program above, except the loans are funded through the schools by the federal government directly (not by the banks).

Some schools participate in FDSLP. You need to check with your school's financial aid office to determine whether they participate in FDSLP or FFELP.

More student information available:
Stafford Loans | Grad PLUS Loans | Parent PLUS

 

download the US Department of Education Student Aid Booklet for more detailed information about federal loans


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