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Campus-Based Programs

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Perkins Loan programs are called campus-based programs because they're administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. Not all schools participate in all three programs.

The amount of financial aid you receive depends on your financial need, the amount of other aid you receive, and on the availability of funds at your school. Unlike the Federal Pell Grant Program, campus-based funding is limited to what is available each year. When the money for a program is gone, the awards stop for that year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest EFCs are the first to get FSEOGs. Awards are between $100 and $4,000 a year, depending on when you apply, your financial need, and the funding available at your school. These grants are only awarded to undergraduates who have not earned a bachelor's, master’s or professional degree.

If you receive this grant, your school either credits your account, pays you directly (usually by check), or a combination of both. Your school pays you at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter).

What is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work-Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service and work related to the recipient's course of study. Federal Work-Study can help you get valuable experience in your area of study.

Will I be paid the same as I would in any other job?

You are paid by the hour. No FWS student is paid by commission or fee. You must be paid directly at least once a month. Wages for the program must be at least the current federal minimum wage, but wages can be higher depending on the skills needed for the job. Your total Federal Work-Study award depends on when you apply, your financial need, and the funding level at your school. The amount you earn cannot exceed your total FWS award. When assigning work hours, your employer or financial aid administrator considers your award amount, your class schedule, and your academic progress.

What kinds of jobs are there in Federal Work-Study?

If you work on campus, you work for the school. If you work off campus, your employer will be a private, non-profit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the publics’ interest. Your school may have agreements with private for-profit employers for Federal Work-Study jobs. This type of job must be relevant to your course of study. If you are at a career school, check for more restrictions.

What about Federal Perkins Loans?

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest federal loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. The interest rate for the loan is 5%. Federal Perkins Loans are made through a school's financial aid office. Your school is your lender, and the loan is made with government funds. You must repay this loan.

Your school will either pay you directly (usually by check) or apply your loan to your school charges. You'll receive the loan in at least two payments throughout the academic year.

How much can I borrow?

You can borrow up to $5,500 for each year of undergraduate study, totaling $27,500 and up to $8,000 per year for graduate studies, totaling $60,000. That $60,000 includes the amount borrowed as an undergraduate. The amount you receive depends on when you apply, your financial need, and the funding level at the school.

Your school can apply Pell Grant funds to your school costs, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods. The school must state, in writing, how much your award will be and how/when you'll be paid. Schools must disburse funds at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that do not use semesters, trimesters, or quarters must disburse funds at least twice per academic year.

Other than interest, is there a charge for this loan?

No, there are no other charges. However, if you skip a payment, if it's late, or if you make less than a full payment, you will pay a late charge plus any collection costs.

So, when do I pay it back?

If you're attending school at least half-time, you have nine months after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status before starting repayment. This is called a "grace period." If you're attending less than half-time, check with your college or career school to find out the length of your grade period. At the end of your grace period, you must begin repaying your loan. Your loans must be paid in full in ten years. Periods of deferment and forbearance (see the next paragraph for more information) are not part of the 10-year period. Your monthly payment depends on your debt and the length of your repayment period.

What if I have trouble repaying the loan?

Under certain circumstances, you can receive a deferment or forbearance on your loan. During a deferment, no payments are required and loans to not accumulate interest. During forbearance, your payments are postponed or reduced and loans accumulate interest that you are responsible for paying.

A Perkins Loan can also be canceled under certain circumstances, such as your death or a total and permanent disability. Certain jobs also qualify for loan forgiveness.

If you serve in the military, payment assistance may be available. For more information, contact your recruiting officer.

If you have more questions about Perkins Loans, check with your school.

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Last Reviewed: July 2020