aid step 5-a: View College Aid Options
aid options for funding college
Step 5a Summarizes Campus and Private Aid Programs:
these include grants, federal work study, federal student loans, private student loans - many are processed through your college. Colleges also offer non-federal aid in scholarships and other college aid.
Grants are generally awarded by federal and state governments for students in extreme financial need.
The grant is gift money that does not have to paid back. All federal grants require you to file the FAFSA form to determine eligibility. Grants are administered and disbursed by the schools.
There are six types of Federal Aid Grants:
The most common federal grant. It is awarded to undergraduate students only (and in some cases, post-baccalaureate students in teacher certification programs).
The amounts awarded range from $400-to-$4,731 per academic year. The Pell Grant is reserved for the neediest students.
To see if you are eligible for the Pell Grant, you must first submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
It will use a formula to estimate the qualified amount based on the EFC and cost of attendance (see aid step1 for EFC information). Any eligible amount will be noted in your financial award letter from your school
- Federal Supplemental
Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG):
This grant is available for qualified undergraduate applicants who show exceptional financial need. The amounts awarded range from $100-to-$4,000.
The amount you will receive will depends on the amount of other aid you get and the availability of FSEOG funds at participating schools.
Schools participating in the FSEOG program receives a certain amount of FSEOG funds each acadamic year. Once the limited funds have been awarded, no more FSEOG funds are available.
You must first compete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to see if you qualify. It will use a formula to estimate the qualified amount based on the EFC and cost of attendance (see step 1 for EFC information). Any eligible amount will be noted in your financial award letter from your school
- Academic Competitiveness Grant
An Academic Competitiveness Grant will provide up to $750 for the first year of undergraduate study and up to $1,300 for the second year of undergraduate study to full-time students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and who had successfully completed a rigorous high school program, as determined by the state or local education agency and recognized by the Secretary of Education.
Second year students must also have maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0. The Academic Competitiveness Grant award is in addition to the student's Pell Grant award.
- National SMART Grant
A National SMART Grant will provide up to $4,000 for each of the third and fourth years of undergraduate study to full-time students who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and who are majoring in physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, or engineering or in a foreign language determined critical to national security, or in a non-major single liberal arts program.
The student must also have maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in coursework required for the major. The National SMART Grant award is in addition to the student's Pell Grant award.
- Teacher Education Assistance (TEACH) Grant
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program, provides up to $4,000 a year in grant assistance to students who are completing or who plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching.
In exchange for the grant, a student must sign an agreement to serve as a full-time teacher at certain low-income schools or within certain high-need fields for at least four academic years.
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
If you are not eligible for a Pell Grant but your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, you are under 24 years old or enrolled in college at the time of your parent's or guardian's death, you will be eligible to receive an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant equal to the amount of a maximum Pell Grant for the award year, except that the amount will not exceed that cost of attendance for that award year
You must be at least a part-time student at the time of your parent's or guardian's death. Up to $5,500 annually; adjusted down for less-than-full-time study.
download the US Department of Education Student Aid Booklet for more detailed information about federal grants
Federal Work Study Program
Federal Work-Study Program offers work-study programs
For both undergraduate and graduate students where the student can work part-time on campus or in the community to earn money to help pay for education expenses.
Students are paid at the federal minimum wage (or more) on an hourly basis
The wage is dependent upon your skill set and work requirement. Graduate students may be paid hourly or by salary.
Work assignments can be on-campus and off-campus work in public-related services. The amount of work is determined by your school and cannot exceed the Federal Work-Study award.
Contact your school's financial aid office for information about the Work-Study program.
You must first compete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form
Scholarships are available from many private and educational institutions. This type of financial aid does not have to be paid back.
There are 3 categories of scholarships:
- Institutional Scholarships:
scholarships from the college to the student for achievement in athletic, academic, and extracurricular activities such as music, art and other.
Many colleges likewise award scholarships for certain majors; i.e., academic achieved students majoring in mathematics. So complete a thorough research potential awards.
- Private Scholarships:
generally from employers, religious and ethnic affiliations.
- Service Scholarships:
national and community associations and the military . These scholarships are awarded in exchange for community or military service after your graduate.
Take note that many non-funded scholarships may be from your own local area area businesses and associations.
You need to start early to find all available scholarships. Check your field of study, ethnic background, social and religious affiliations, parent's employment, family club memberships, and local businesses and clubs.
Beware of potential scholarship scams. A general rule to follow is, "if they request money from you in order to get money", they are likely a scam
begin your scholarship search online
Every program is different, so check early on what will be required and make sure you meet all deadlines.
The scholarship may require an essay, written exam, or some demonstration/document of your eligibility
Most scholarships (including athletic) will require a minimum GPA. Failure to maintain your GPA level could forfeit your award.
Most scholarship funds will be sent to the college directly on your behalf.
Scholarship essay editing resources:
Private organizations that offer scholarships or loans to members and their families who below to the organization
Institutions include churches, community groups, professional associations, hobby groups, and others.
use our scholarship search directory:
start your search here
Many businesses offer educational allowances to employees and their families — check with your parents' employee benefits department.
Government Student Loans
Low-interest (5% percent) federal student loans awarded to undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.
You can borrow up to $4,000 for each year of undergraduate study; $6,000 for each year of graduate or professional study.
The total amount you can borrow as an undergraduate is $20,000 after you complete two years of undergraduate study; $40,000 for graduate and professional.
The loan does not charge origination fees. Your school becomes the lender using funds shared by the federal government. You must repay this loan to your school.
For more student loan information:
Stafford Student Loans
The most common form of self-help aid. These are loans made to students in undergraduate and graduate-level programs.
These student loans are insured by the federal government that allow lenders to lend money at lower-than-normal rates.
varies by student grade and status: see loan chart
180 days after graduation or separation
fixed for the life of the student loan: see rates
no credit check or co-borrower required
More information available:
for a complete review of the stafford loan program
PLUS Loan Programs: 2 Types
- Parent PLUS Loans
are federal-sponsored student loans for parents
who have dependent undergraduate and graduate students. Parents can borrow up to the full cost of education minus any financial aid awarded to the student.
- Graduate PLUS Loans
are federal-sponsored student loans for graduates and professional students. They can borrow up to the full cost of education (including travel) minus any financial aid received.
PLUS Loans are available to all qualified borrowers regardless of their financial situation. Borrowers must pass a credit check in order to qualify. PLUS Loans do require your filing the FAFSA form.
cost of education minus aid given
60 days after first disbursement for parents
180 days after graduation or separation for graduates
fixed for the life of the student loan: see rates
no prepayment penalties; no collateral
must pass a credit check in order to qualify.
Private Student Loans
Private Student Loans
Many government programs and loans do not cover the full cost of education
So many students are turning to private student loans to make up the difference between total cost of school and any financial aid you may receive.
Private Student Loans are offered by financial institutions, educational institutions, and professional associations. They are not guaranteed by the government so the interest rate and origination costs may be higher.
The advantage of Private Student loans is that loan amounts are not tied to any federal or college limits
You can borrow as much as you need up to the approved loan limit.
In addition, the funds can be used for any education-related expenses, including a new personal computer for school use.
Rates and origination costs are tied to the applicant's credit history
The better your credit history (as a student and likely with a co-applicant such as your parent), the lower the rate and costs.
You need to consider the lending terms of private loans borrowing money comes with fiscal responsibilities. Inability to follow repayment terms can affect your credit rating, making it more difficult to borrow in the future.
For more information:
link to our private student loan module
review eligibility requirements and benefits
Home Equity Loans
Home Equity Loans
Homeowners can use the equity value in their homes to pay for education.
- you are not restricted by federal
- the funds can be used for any
purpose — including auto
transportation — as determined
by the home equity owner
- funds can be borrowed as they
are needed — not all at
once under many other programs
- the home equity line can be
available from year-to-year without
submitting annual application
and qualification forms
- interest rates for home equity
lines can be as low as the Prime
- the interest costs for borrowed funds may be deducted from your taxes if your qualify — see your tax advisor for further information
The home equity line of credit is the most popular type of home equity for college education.
The equity line allows parents to draw upon funds as needed for tuition, books, fees, living expenses and other miscellaneous expenses.
Use the Banker Line of Credit (BLOC) to manage your money and education expenses.
The BLOC has been designed to effectively pay education expenses with minimal borrowing costs. The programs works for applicants who have steady working income.
For a demonstration of the program:
link for a demonstration on the BLOC program
see introduction and slide demo
Aid Charts and Process
|How Much Needed for College?|