Federal Financial Aid Programs
The Federal Pell Grant Program is awarded based on exceptional need as defined by the federal government. It is free money and does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded to eligible undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree. The award amount depends on the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and full- or part-time enrollment. Maximum grants for the 2015–2016 academic year are $5,775. A student can apply for a Pell Grant by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A student's 'lifetime' eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant is limited to 12 semesters total (or its equivalent).
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG) provides financial assistance to undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time and demonstrate exceptional financial need. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients pending fund availability. The FAFSA is required.
The Federal Direct Student Loan Program allows eligible students to borrow low-interest subsidized and unsubsidized loans to help finance their educational expenses. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education. All borrowers must enroll at least half-time (6 credits) and complete the FAFSA. New direct loan borrowers must also complete online entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN).
The maximum amount a student can borrow each year depends on the class level and whether or not a student is classified as a dependent or independent student.
Direct subsidized loans are for students with demonstrated need, as determined by federal regulations. No interest is charged while a student is in school at least half-time, the first six months after leaving school (referred to as a grace period), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments). Direct unsubsidized loans are not based on financial need; interest is charged during all periods.
The Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loan Program is for the biological or adoptive parent of dependent students. The stepparents of dependent students are also eligible if their financial information is included on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education requires all students to complete the FAFSA to be considered for PLUS loans. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender for this loan program rather than a bank or other financial institution.
The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) provides on- and off-campus employment for students with financial need to earn money to help pay education expenses. This program allows students to work around their class schedules while obtaining valuable work experience. Students will receive a bi-weekly paycheck for hours worked. Unlike grants and loans, a student cannot apply their FWS award to their account for payment of tuition and fees. Jobs are available on-campus and at various community service off-campus sites. Undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours) may be employed under the program.
More detailed information about the federal student aid programs is available on the Financial Aid Office website at stevenson.edu/finaid.