Funding Your Education
If you are looking for ways to fund your education, here are a few.
Federal Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grants are the most popular federal grant program. Your eligibility is determined based on the results of your FAFSA, and you must prove a high level of financial need to be considered for the award. While the grants are typically given to undergraduate students, those pursuing certain post-graduate teaching programs are also eligible. Pell Grants are the foundation of financial aid, and often determine your eligibility for other federal grant programs like the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG).
Campus-Based Aid Programs
Campus-based aid programs are financial aid programs that are administered directly by the financial aid office of your intended college. Federal programs such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Work-Study programs are considered campus-based aid programs because those awards are disbursed by college financial aid administrators, and schools must choose to participate in these programs. Your eligibility for this funding will be determined by the results of your FAFSA. If you find on your SAR that the above source of aid aren’t listed, it could be because your college of choice does not participate in those programs.
Federal Stafford Loans
Federal Stafford Loans are the most popular student loans guaranteed by the federal government because of low interest rates and flexible repayment options. Schools may participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan Program). The loan may be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need, and the government pays the interest while the student is in school, in deferment, and during the six month grace period before repayment begins. Unsubsidized loans are not awarded based on income, and the borrower is responsible for any interest acquired while in school, deferment, and during the grace period before repayment begins.
Federal PLUS Loans (Parent Loans)
The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is taken out by the parents of dependent students. This option, while not as popular as Federal Stafford Loans, is still a low-interest option for those who must take out student loans while funding their college education. PLUS loans are guaranteed by the federal government, and schools that participate in the Direct Loan Program offer PLUS Loans. If your parents are borrowing for you, they must have an acceptable credit history to be eligible for the loan.