What is federal financial aid?
The U.S. Department of Education’s federal financial aid programs are the largest source of student aid in America, providing nearly 70% of all student financial aid. Financial aid may be available to make education beyond high school financially possible.
Financial aid is available for students who qualify and are enrolled in eligible programs at participating schools. Aid is intended to assist you with covering your educational related expenses while you are pursuing your degree. The three most common types of aid are grants, loans and work-study and are granted on a financial need basis.
How do I apply for federal financial aid?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first and most important step in order to determine eligibility. Below is a link to the application for financial aid. You must submit the application online.
What is FAFSA?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) calculates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC determines your eligibility for need-based aid. Items that will affect need-based aid eligibility from year to year include:
- Income and/or assets
- Number of family members residing in the household
- Number of family members in college
What are the different types of federal financial aid?
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a need based grant offered to undergraduate students who do not already have a bachelor degree, in which, is funded by the federal government. Application for the Pell Grant is done by completing the FAFSA (www.fafsa.gov) each year. Grant amounts are based on a financial need formula combined with the student’s enrollment level. Please check with the Financial Aid Department for further information.
As of July 1, 2012, Pell Grants are limited to six years of lifetime eligibility [Lifetime Eligibility Usage (LEU) maximum is 600%]. To confirm your current status, please check your NSLDS information (www.nslds.ed.gov).
Federal SEOG Grant
The SEOG grant is a campus based program that is funded from the federal government and is very limited in funding, therefore, it is very important to apply for financial aid as early as possible. The FAFSA must be completed to assist in determining financial need. Awards are first given to students with the lowest EFC according to their FAFSA application. Please check with the Financial Aid Department for further information.
Federal Work Study
Eligibility for this program is based on financial need, as determined by the results of the FAFSA, and funds are limited. Jobs are offered to undergraduate and graduate students. The pay is based on at least the federal or state minimum hourly wage. The total hours worked is based on how much money you are awarded in this program. Most students work 10 to 20 hours each week. Earnings from the Federal Work Study Program are not counted as income when a student applies for aid the following year. Jobs can be on campus or off campus in community service. Students receive a regular paycheck.
Federal Direct Education Loans
The U. S. Department of Education’s Federal Direct Education Loans fall under the jurisdiction of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Federal Direct Education loans are low-interest loans intended to help students and parents pay for a college education.
If you think you need to apply for a loan, the Federal Direct Education loans should be your first source to fund your education. Alternative education loans are to be used to provide additional funding for your education after federal loans are sought. In order for you to understand the specifics of the loan you will need, you should meet with a Financial Aid Advisor at the university. The advisor can develop a student financial aid plan based on your specific set of circumstances. Each student will need to complete a FAFSA as it will assist in determining loan eligibility.
The Federal Direct Education loan program offers the following types of loans:
- Subsidized: for undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is attending school at least halftime and during deferment periods.
- Unsubsidized: for undergraduate and graduate students. It is not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods, even during the time a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
- Parent PLUS: unsubsidized loans for the parent borrower of dependent students. PLUS loans help pay for education expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.
- Graduate Plus: unsubsidized loans for students enrolled in a graduate/professional program (For example, master’s degree. Certificate programs or students enrolled in courses to gain entry into a master’s program are not eligible). Student must meet all of the other general eligibility requirement for Federal Financial Aid. In addition, you must not have an adverse credit history (a credit check will be required). The Graduate Plus loan helps to cover expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.
- Consolidation: Eligible federal student loans can be combined into one direct consolidation loan.
You borrow the Federal Direct Education loans from the Federal government, and the direct loan servicing center becomes your single source for managing the repayment of your federal student loans. For general information, visit the direct loan program site (www.studentloans.gov ).This site will provide you with information about loan limits, regardless of whether you are a dependent student applying for a loan with your parents or an independent student applying for a loan without your parents’ help. Before you apply for a Federal Direct Education loan, you must work with your Financial Aid Advisor to determine your eligibility and to complete necessary paperwork, including loan counseling as appropriate.
What determines my eligibility for financial aid?
In general, a student is eligible for federal aid if s/he meets the following requirements:
- You must be accepted and classified as degree seeking at Schiller International University in an eligible program.
- Enrolled at least half-time in any eligible degree program.
- Demonstrate financial need. Filing of the FAFSA application is required to determine need.
- You must not be in default on any federal educational loan or owe repayment on a federal grant at this or any other institution.
- You must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen (e.g., resident alien).
- You must have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
- A male applicant must be registered with Selective Service, if applicable. Male citizens of the U.S. and male immigrant aliens 18 through 25 years old must be registered with the U.S. Selective Service System to be eligible for federal financial aid.
- You must maintain Schiller’s Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress.
What if I am not eligible for financial aid?
If you are denied federal financial student aid, you may apply for private loans. Private loans are an option to those students who do not qualify for other types of federal financial assistance, or assist with defraying education related expenses that exceed the amount of financial aid received from federal, state, or other sources. Private loans are available to U.S. citizens, eligible non-citizens and also international students, at the discretion of the lender. Private loan programs are not affiliated with any federal financial assistance programs and are, therefore, generally more expensive. Approval of a private student loan application is based on credit worthiness, including debt-to-income ratio and credit history.
Don’t wait. Contact Schiller International University today!