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Need Based Loans and Grants

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Federal Pell Grant.) You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense.

Amounts can change yearly. For the 2014–15 award year (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015), the maximum award will be $5,730. The amount you get, though, will depend on your financial need, your cost of attendance, your status as a full-time or part-time student. You may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

Effective on July 1, 2012, you can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters or the equivalent (roughly six years).

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Subsidized Loans:

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Unsubsidized Loans:

If it is your first time receiving a Direct Loan, you will be required to


Federal College Work Study provides part-time job opportunities for students to supplement financial aid. Work-study students work up to 20 hours per week on campus and can earn approximately $2,300 each year. Download the Work Study Application.


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), like Pell Grants, do not need to be repaid. SEOG grants are given to students with very high financial need and for whom other aid sources are insufficient to meet that need.