Federal Student Aid at a Glance
U.S. Department of Education
What is federal student aid?
Federal student aid is financial help for students enrolled in eligible programs at participating schools to cover school expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation.
Grants .... financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Generally, grants are for undergraduate students, and the grant amount is based on need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status.
Federal Pell Grants for the 2002-2003 school year range from $400 to $4,000.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) range from $100 to $4,000.
Loans .... borrowed money that must be repaid with interest. Both undergraduate and graduate students may borrow money. Parents may also borrow to pay education expenses for dependent undergraduate students. Maximum loan amounts depend on the student's year in school.
Federal Stafford Loans are made to students, and Federal PLUS Loans are made to parents. There are two loan programs:
Federal Perkins Loans are offered by participating schools to provide low-interest loans to students that demonstrate the most need.
Work Study .... lets you earn money for education expenses while enrolled in school.
NOTE: Not all schools participate in all of the Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs. Ask your school's financial aid administrator which programs are available.
Who gets federal student aid?
Some of the requirements to receive aid from the U.S. Department of Education's FSA programs are that you must:
How do you apply for federal student aid?
You may apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. You can also get a paper FAFSA from:
One to four weeks after you submit your FAFSA, we will send you a SAR, either by an e-mailed link or on paper. The SAR confirms the information reported on your FAFSA and will tell you your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your financial aid administrator will use the EFC to determine the amount of federal student aid for which you qualify.
Talk with the financial aid administrator(s) at the school(s) you're interested in attending. They will review your SAR and prepare a letter outlining the amount of aid (from all sources) that their school will offer you.