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financial aid chart for Undergraduates

Type Program Program Information Annual Limits Requirements
Federal Grants

more information from Dept. of Ed.

5 types of Federal Grants:
  1. Federal Pell Grant
  2. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  3. Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
  4. National SMART Grant
  5. TEACH Grant

These grants are available to students enrolled in undergraduates programs.

These grants do not have to be repaid. Special provisions are required to receive these grants.

See our Aid Steps more information

Pell Grant: up to $4,731 annually.

FSEOG: between $100 and $4,000 each academic year.

ACG: up to $750 for first year students; up to $1,300 for second year students.

SMART: up to $4,000 for each of the third and fourth years.

TEACH: up to $4,000 each academic year.

Student must file the FAFSA form.

see FAFSA links

Grants awarded based on financial need.

School acts as the U.S. Department of Education's agent.

Submit your application for grants through your school.

Work-Study Programs

more information from Dept. of Ed.

Student will work a set number of hours for the school or approved public-service related company.

Money is earned: does not have to be repaid. Undergraduates paid on a hourly basis.

See our Aid Steps for more information

No annual maximum.

However, the amount cannot exceed your total work-study award.


Student must file the FAFSA form.

see FAFSA links

School disburses earned funds to students.

Submit your application for work study through your school.



Scholarships are available from many private and educational institutions. This type of financial aid does not have to be paid back.

The more common form of scholarships are athletic and academic. However, there are a number of scholarships awarded for other achievements.

Limits subject to scholarship award and program. Scholarships may require an essay, written exam, or some demonstration /document of your eligibility.

get some help

Most scholarships (including athletic) will require a minimum GPA.

Scholarship funds will be sent to the college directly on your behalf.

Federal Perkins Loans

more information from Dept. of Ed.

Loan: must be repaid.

These are low-interest rate loans (5%) available to students with exceptional financial need.

The loan does not charge origination fees.

See our Aid Steps for more information

up to $5,500 for undergraduate students

Maximum amount:

Student must file the FAFSA form.

see FAFSA links

Your school becomes the lender using funds shared by the federal government.

You must repay this loan to your school.

Submit your application for Perkins Loans through your school.

Federal Stafford Loans

see Stafford Loans


2 types of Federal Stafford Loans:

  1. subsidized loans:
    the Federal Government pays interest while the student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.

  2. unsubsidized loans:
    the borrower is responsible for interest during the life of the loan.

    the type of loans awarded depends on financial status.

Loan funds will be sent to the school and disbursed in at least two installments.

The funds will first be applied to pay tuition, fees, room and board, and other school charges. Any remaining funds must be used for paying education-related expenses.

$3,500 to $12,500 depending on grade level

see loan chart

Student must file the FAFSA form.

see FAFSA links

Loan restricted to education-related expenses only.

Student must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program at an approved school.

Direct Stafford Loans: The federal government provides funds to schools.

FFEL Stafford Loans: private lenders provide funds to schools to disburse to students.
Student Loans

see Private Loans


Private student loans are used to make up the difference between total cost of school and any financial aid received.

These loans are not guaranteed by the government so the interest rate and origination fees may be higher.

Most private loan programs have higher borrowing limits than federal loan programs.

Funds can be used for any education-related expenses, including a new personal computer for school use.

From $1,000 to $45,000 and more annually depending on the lender

The aggregate program maximum is $150,000 or more.

You must have at least 21 months credit experience and a satisfactory credit history.

Learn about building and maintaining a good credit history

You must meet the credit guidelines for employment and residency.

If you can't meet these guidelines, you may need your parent or another creditworthy adult to co-sign for the loan.

Undergraduate students must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program at an approved school.

Funds are certified through the school.
Home Equity Financing

see Home Equity


Private loan program where the lender opens a credit line on your behalf (or your parent), which credit line is secured by the equity value of your or your parent's home.

You will use equity line checks or online transfer capabilities to pay for education or other expenses.

The line of credit can be used at any time and for any expense up to your approved credit line balance.

No annual limit restrictions.

Your amount is subject to your approved equity line balance.

You must have equity value in your home.

Calculate your equity value

You must meet the lenders credit criteria and credit check.

There is no limitation or restrictions on the use of the funds.

State Agencies

link to your individual state for information

Individual states offer financial aid programs for state residents and in some cases out-of-state residents attending in-state schools.

Financial aid may include grants, scholarships, financial aid assistance, and some loan programs.

Financial assistance may vary by state. Financial aid qualifications can vary by individual state.

link for state information

Financing Options

see Alternative Aid

State529 Plans

Qualified investment plans established and managed by individual states that can be used to pay education expenses. Contributions are after-tax, but earnings in the fund are tax exempt.

Funds are available to any named beneficiary. The beneficiary can be the contributor.

Two types of plans:

  1. Prepaid College Tuition Plans
  2. College Savings Plan

Education IRAs

IRA plans that can be setup for education. Contributions are after-tax, but earnings in the fund are tax exempt.

The IRA can be used to pay for higher education and K-12 education expenses.

Limitations subject to the available amount in the plan.

Plan must be setup in the name of the beneficiary.

Withdrawals are tax-exempt if the funds are used to pay for education-related expenses.

Penalties may apply for payment of non-education expenses.

IRA Plans

More information from the IRS:

You can make withdrawals from your IRAs for qualified higher education expenses without having to pay the 10% penalty tax. Limitations subject to the available amount in the plan. You will owe income tax on at the amount withdrawn from the plan.
Military ROTC

see Alternative Aid

Federal-merit scholarship program that will pay for college and provide a monthly allowance.

You must meet specific academic or physical fitness requirements to join.

For information:

Limitations subject to the cost of college attendance. You will be required to complete a period of military service after you graduate.
Eligible Tax Credits

More information from the IRS:

The IRS allows students and parents who file and owe taxes to claim one of two educational credits. Tax credits reduce your overall taxes paid dollar-for-dollar. Hope Tax Credit:
up to a maximum $1,800 per year

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit:
up to a maximum $2,000 per year per family

Credit can only be taken for expenses covering tuition, fees, and and books (if the book expense was paid to the institution on condition of enrollment) minus any scholarships and grants received.

Room and board, personal expenses and transportation are non-eligible expenses.

Other Financial Aid

See Aid Note:
other types of financial aid available

Includes loan forgiveness programs, VA benefits, Americorps, U.S. public health, and job training programs.
Provides help for limited circumstances.
View program for limitations.

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