Federal Financial Aid Progams
Federal Pell Grant Program
The Federal Pell Grant program provides funding toward tuition, fees and other costs for students whose income is below levels set by the U.S. Congress. Pell grants do not have to be repaid. If eligibility is established, the amount of the grant will depend on income reported in the prior tax year, dependent or independent status, cost of attendance and other factors. 2012- 2013 grants range between $725 and $5,550. The Financial Aid Office can provide an estimate of grant awards based upon the information submitted on the FAFSA.
Federal Direct Loans
Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans made to students attending school at least half-time. Direct Loans, unlike grants, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, and payments normally begin six months after leaving school. The amount of each payment depends on the size of the debt and the ability to pay.
Students can qualify for a Direct Loan based upon financial need as determined by the FAFSA. The need-based loan (known as “subsidized”) offers in-school interest subsidies by the federal government. In addition, students may qualify for non-need-based Direct loans (known as “unsubsidized”). These loans do not offer interest subsidies. It is possible for students to have both subsidized and unsubsidized Direct loans.
Loan Limits: An independent undergraduate and parents who are unable to borrow a PLUS loan (see below) can borrow up to $3,000 in subsidized, and up to $6,000 in unsubsidized, loans in the first academic year. A dependent undergraduate can borrow up to $3,500 subsidized, and up to $2,000 unsubsidized, in the first academic year.
Repayment of subsidized loans begins six months after ceasing enrollment. Repayment on unsubsidized loans, including interest, is the same, but interest begins accruing at time of first disbursement. All borrowers are required to participate in an Entrance and Exit Interview to ensure a full understanding of their rights and responsibilities.
Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
Federal Direct PLUS Loans are for parents who want to borrow to help pay for a child’s education. These loans enable parents with good credit history to borrow for each dependent. Unlike other financial aid programs, a family financial analysis is not required to be eligible for a Direct PLUS Loan. PLUS Loans must be repaid. Repayment generally begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed.
The following web sites contain further information about federal student financial aid programs:
To reach the Federal Student Loan Ombudsman’s Office:
Via e-mail: email@example.com
Via on-line assistance: www.ombudsman.ed.gov
Via telephone: Toll free: 877.557.2575; 202.377.3800
Via fax: 202.275.0549
Via mail: U.S. Department of Education FSA Ombudsman, 830 First Street, N.E. Washington, DC 20202-5144