Federal Financial Aid Programs

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides grants to eligible full-time and part-time undergraduate students. Maximum grants for the 2008–2009 academic year are $4,310. A student can apply for a Pell Grant by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG) provides financial assistance to full-time and half-time undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients. Grants from this program range in value from $200 to $1,500 a year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application for this college-administered program.

The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is available to undergraduate Pell recipients enrolled full-time in their first or second academic year of study. First year students who have completed a rigorous secondary school program, graduated from high school after January 1, 2005, and have not been previously enrolled in an undergraduate program are eligible for up to $750 per year.

Second year students who have completed a rigorous secondary school program, graduated from high school after January 1, 2005, and have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the completion of their first year of postsecondary study are eligible for up to $1,300 per year.

National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) is available to Pell recipients who are enrolled full-time in their third or fourth academic year of study in an eligible degree program of physical life, computer science, engineering, technology, mathematics or a critical-need foreign language and have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA are eligible for up to $4000 per year.

The Federal Perkins Loan Program is available to students enrolled on at least a half-time basis with demonstrated exceptional financial need. A student may borrow up to $4,000 for each year of undergraduate study. Repayment normally begins nine months after the student graduates, leaves the school, or drops below half-time status, at a minimum monthly payment of $40. During the repayment period, 5% interest is charged. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for this college-administered program.

The Federal Stafford Loan Program enables eligible students to borrow directly from a participating commercial lender in order to finance educational expenses. The maximum amount that may be borrowed is $3,500 for freshmen, $4,500 for sophomores, and $5,500 for juniors and seniors. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and an online Stafford Loan master promissory note.

Interest rates are fixed at 6.8 percent. Repayment normally begins six months after the students drops below half-time enrollment, graduates, or leaves school for other reasons, at a minimum monthly payment of $50. Students eligible for Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans will have their interest paid by the federal government during authorized in-school, grace, and deferment periods. Students eligible for Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are responsible for the interest that accrues from the time the loan is disbursed. This interest can either be paid or deferred. If it is deferred, the unpaid interest will be added to the principal balance of the loan for repayment purposes.

Federal regulations require all new students to complete an Entrance Loan Interview before a loan is disbursed. Students who graduate, withdraw, or drop below six credits must complete an Exit Loan Interview. Transcripts will be held until the Exit Loan Interview has been completed.

The Federal Parent Loan For Undergraduate Students (FPLUS) Program provides loans for parents of dependent undergraduates. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other aid. Loan amounts and eligibility are based on the parent's credit history. The interest rate is fixed at 8.5 percent. An online loan application process is required. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. Student must be enrolled for six credits or more in a semester. The PLUS program is now available to graduate and professional degree students. The above interest rates are subject to adjustment due to government regulatory changes.

The provides on-and off-campus employment for students with financial need. Students enrolled on a full-time or half-time basis may be employed under the program. In general, the salary received will be based on the current minimum wage. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and an SU work student application to apply.

More specific information about federal aid programs can be found in "Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid 2008-09" available online at <www.studentaid.ed.gov>.