OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Getting a degree is smart - it's the single most
important investment you can make in your financial
future. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, average
annual earnings range from $18,900 for high school
dropouts to $25,900 for high school graduates, $45,400
for college graduates, and $99,300 for workers with
Financial Aid Application
The primary application for the majority of financial
assistance is the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA). This form is available through your
financial aid officer or online at www.fafse.ed.gov.
This form determines your eligibility for federal
need-based aid. Scholarships and grants are considered
gift aid and require no repayment, whereas student
loans must be repaid.
Federal Pell Grant
This need-based grant is given to help undergraduates
defray the cost of education. Eligible students
may receive these funds to attend an eligible post-secondary
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity
This grant is given based on exceptional financial
need and is awarded primarily to Federal Pell Grant
Federal College Work-Study Program (FWS)
This program provides an award for potential employment
for undergraduate and graduate students as part
of their aid packages. Federal Work-Study is awarded
based on financial need. Other student employment
opportunities may be available if a student does
not qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program.
Federal Perkins Loan Program
The Perkins Loan Program is a low-interest, federally
funded loan program for both undergraduate and graduate
students, The loan is administered by the school
and is based on need. As long as the student is
enrolled in school at least half-time, the federal
government pays the interest. Repayment begins nine
months after the student graduates or leaves school.
The repayment term is up to ten years with a minimum
monthly payment of $40 and an interest rate of 5%.
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans
The Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan is a low-interest
loan made to students who demonstrate financial
need. Undergraduates may borrow up to $2,625 for
the first year, $3,500 for the second year, and
$5,500 for each remaining undergraduate year. Undergraduate
students may borrow an aggregate limit of $23,000.
Independent students may have additional eligibility
under the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.
Graduate and Professional students may borrow up
to $8,500 a year for a total of $65,000 (this includes
undergraduate Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford
Loans). The interest rate is variable and capped
at 8.25%. While the borrower is enrolled in school
at least half-time, the interest is paid by the
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
The interest rate and terms for this loan are the
same as for the Subsidized Stafford Loan. However,
students are responsible for paying the interest
while enrolled in school and during any grace period
or deferment. This loan is not based on financial
need. An independent undergraduate's aggregate limit
including Unsubsidized Stafford Loans would increase
to $46,000. Repayment terms are the same as for
the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan.
Federal PLUS Program (Parent Loan for Undergraduate
The Federal PLUS Program is for parents of dependent
undergraduate students and is based on creditworthiness.
Under this program, parents may borrow up to the
cost of education at a particular institution minus
any financial aid a student receives.
Local National Guard or military reserve units
may offer educational assistance in the form of
scholarships or loans. Check with your financial
aid officer or Reserve Officer for more information.
If you are an eligible veteran or the dependent
of an eligible veteran, contact the regional Veterans
Administration office that has records for you or
your eligible parent. Funds may be available to
cover a portion of your educational expenses. For
more information visit the website at www.va.gov.
Workforce and Vocational Rehabilitation Education
benefits may be available to qualified students.
Contact your local agency for more information.
These offices are usually listed in the telephone
book in the state offices section under rehabilitation
services or vocational rehabilitation services.
Students who are members of an Indian tribe may
be eligible for assistance from the Bureau of Indian
Affairs (BIA). Benefits may vary depending upon
the tribe. Contact your tribal headquarters to
determine your eligibility for BIA benefits.
The links below may be useful for researching information: