Federal Financial Aid for College Students
How Does Federal Financial Aid Work?
The U.S. Department of Education awards about $150 billion a year in financial aid through grants, student loans and other programs.* Some federal aid is gift aid, or grants, that do not need to be paid back; while other aid consists of loans that students must repay.
Am I Eligible for Federal Aid?
Types of Federal Financial Aid
Pell Grant (Undergraduate Students Only)
The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to undergraduate students who have not previously earned a bachelor's or professional degree. The size of the award is based on the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and his/her enrollment status. Undergraduate students who are enrolled full-time (12 or more hours per semester) can expect to receive 100 percent of their total Pell award. Students enrolled less than full-time will receive a prorated award based on their enrollment status. Learn more >
The TEACH Grant Program awards grants to students who intend to teach. In turn, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a school serving low-income students for at least four academic years within eight years of completing the program of study for which you received the grant. If you do not complete your service as a teacher, the grant will convert to a loan. Learn more >
The Federal Stafford Loan Program provides loans at a low cost to students. There are two Stafford Loans that students are eligible for: Stafford Subsidized Loan and Stafford Unsubsidized Loan. Both loans provide access to funds that students may not otherwise have. Learn more >
Graduate PLUS Loan
The Federal Graduate PLUS Program is a low-interest loan for graduate students enrolled in school at least half-time (minimum of five credit hours per semester). Graduate students must be U.S. citizens or registered permanent residents to apply for the PLUS. Eligibility for the PLUS is not based on demonstrated financial need. Learn more >
Parent PLUS Loan
The Federal Parent PLUS Program is a low-interest loan for parents of dependent, undergraduate students enrolled in school at least half-time (minimum of six credit hours per semester). Parents must be U.S. citizens or registered permanent residents to apply for the PLUS. Eligibility for the PLUS is not based on demonstrated financial need. Learn more >
Important Loan Information
It is common for loan programs to require the submission of a promissory note. For detailed information and directions on completing this process, please review our resource on Master Promissory Notes.
Loan disclosure statement >