To apply for financial aid fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The amount of financial aid you receive depends on factors such as financial need, other financial aid you will receive, and the availability of funds at your school. Unlike the Federal Pell Grant Program, schools participating in a campus-based program have limited funds. When the money is gone, campus programs stop giving out awards.
Each school sets its own deadlines for campus financial aid applications. The deadlines are before the U.S. Department of Education’s deadline, which is June 30th. Check with a financial aid administrator for school deadlines. Apply early so you don’t miss out on financial aid opportunities.
Federal student aid is financial assistance provided by the federal government. Students enrolled in must be enrolled in an eligible program at a four-year or two-year public or private are eligible for federal aid. Student aid covers expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Federal aid is based on financial need, not on grades.
To be eligible, The Department of Education states that you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security number and demonstrate you are qualified for post-secondary education by:
Applications for the upcoming academic year are available on January 1st. Federal applications are due June 30th prior to the new academic year. Check with your state for their specific deadlines.
Schools and states set deadlines early in the calendar year. These must be met to receive state funding. Apply early so you don’t miss out on financial opportunities.
The Department of Education will send your SAR either in hardcopy or online depending on how you sent in your FAFSA. The SAR confirms the information reported on your FAFSA and contains your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is used determine your eligibility for federal student aid. To receive aid, your SAR must be complete and correct.
Talk to the financial aid staff at the school(s) you’re interested in attending. Be sure to submit all of your information. The financial aid administrator will review your SAR, and if you are eligible, will prepare a letter outlining your financial aid package.
The following is a summary of Federal Student Aid programs that will help you pay for school. Check with your school to find out which programs your school participates in.
|Federal Student Aid Program||Type Of Aid||Program Details||
|Federal Pell Grant||Grant: does not have to be repaid||Available almost exclusively to undergraduates; all eligible students will receive the Federal Pell Grant amounts they qualify for||$5,635 for 2013-2014; may change annually depending on funding|
|Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)||Grant: does not have to be repaid||For undergraduates with exceptional financial need; priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients; funds depend on availability at school||$4,000|
|Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)||Grant: does not have to be repaid||For undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate school students planning to teach an in-need subject—for at least four years—in a school that serves students from low-income families.||$4,000|
|Academic Competitiveness Grant||Grant: does not have to be repaid||For first and second year undergraduates who are eligible for a Pell Grant and who have successfully completed a rigorous high school program.||Up to $750 for the first academic year of study and up to $1,300 for the second academic year of study|
|The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant)||Grant: does not have to be repaid||For third and fourth year undergraduates eligible for a Pell Grant and majoring in physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, or engineering or in a foreign language critical to national security.||$4,000|
|Federal Work-Study||Money is earned while attending school; does not have to be repaid||For undergraduate and graduate students; jobs can be on campus or off campus; students are paid at least minimum wage||No annual maximum|
|Federal Perkins Loan||Loan: must be repaid||Five percent loans for both undergraduate and graduate students; payment is owed to the school that made the loan||$5,500 for undergraduate students; $8,000 for graduate students|
|Subsidized FFEL or Direct Stafford Loan||Loan: must be repaid||Subsidized: U.S. Department of Education pays interest while borrower is in school and during grace and deferment periods||$3,500 to $8,500, depending on grade level|
|Unsubsidized FFEL or Direct Stafford Loan||Loan: must be repaid||Unsubsidized: Borrower is responsible for interest during life of the loan||$5,500 to $20,500, depending on grade level (includes any subsidized amounts received for the same period)|
|Federal PLUS Loan||Loan: must be repaid||Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students||Cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives|
|General information about the federal student aid programs, assistance in completing the FAFSA, and information about FAFSA on the Web are available through the Federal Student Aid Information Center||
|TTY users (for the hearing-impaired) can call||1-800-730-8913|
|Callers in locations without access to 800 numbers may call (this is not a toll-free number)||1-319-337-5665|
|To report fraud, waste, or abuse involving federal student aid funds||
|Information on the Direct Consolidation Loan Program||1-800-557-7392|
|TTY number for Direct Consolidation Loan information||1-800-557-7395|
|FAFSA on the Web (info & technical assistance)||www.fafsa.ed.gov|
|Help in completing the FAFSA||www.ed.gov/prog_info/SFA/FAFSA/|
|Federal school codes (used to complete the FAFSA)||www.fafsa.ed.gov/FOTWWebApp/FSLookupServlet|
|Federal government resources for education||students.gov/|
|College Opportunities Online (COOL database)||www.nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cool/|
|U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook||www.bls.gov/oco/|
These agencies provide information on state education programs, colleges and universities, student aid assistance programs, grants, scholarships, continuing education programs, career opportunities, and some guaranty agencies. You can search the U.S. Department of Education’s database at www.studentaid.ed.gov, for contact information and Web site addresses. At the site, click on "Funding," then click on "State aid." You can also contact the agency by calling the telephone number listed below:
|District of Columbia||1-202-727-6436|
|Georgia||1-770-724-9030 (Hope Scholarship/Tuition Eq. Grant)|
|1-404-656-5969 (Robert C. Byrd Scholarship information)|
|Pennsylvania||1-800-692-7392 (loan information)|
|1-800-692-7435 (state grants)|
|Northern Mariana Islands||1-670-234-6128|
Latest College & Financial Aid News
October 8, 2021
FAFSA is an acronym. It stands for "Free Application for Federal Student Aid". Please take note that the first word in the acronym is "Free". You do not need to pay to fill out the FAFSA but there are certainly websites out there that will charge you for their assistance. If you are asked for a credit card at any point in the process, you are at one of these sites. If you do not want to pay to complete the FAFSA, be sure to apply at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. The FAFSA must be completed by you and your family each year if you wish to be considered for need-based grants from the college or university you are or will be attending as well as subsidized student loans. [...]
August 31, 2021
A study abroad program can be the beginning of the most exciting chapter of your college experience. Often, the travel, housing, credits and even food are included in the price of the program you choose. However, this is no reason not to look for more financial opportunities! [...]
August 19, 2021
As you get ready for this next big step in your life, this last year at home can feel like the longest and the shortest you ever had! While you prepare to select a college and research scholarships and financial aid, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your friends and family. While movies, even when based on a true story, are always a little bit fantastic, they are also works of art that share experiences among their viewers. [...]