Federal Student Aid Programs
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid offers aid assistance to students through their federal programs. Federal student aid covers school expenses such as tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies and transportation. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be submitted online at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available as early as October 1 each year, and should be submitted prior to your anticipated date of college enrollment. Types of federal aid available are listed below. For helpful FAFSA hints and tips, click here.
Federal Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students. Grants do not have to be repaid. Eligibility is determined by the Expected Family Contribution as calculated by the Department of Education, using information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Funds from this award will be divided equally between Fall and Spring semesters and will be credited to the student's account accordingly.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans must be repaid and are available to undergraduate students. Unsubsidized loans are also available to graduate students. These loans have low interest, fixed rates. Payment is deferred until six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half time. Freshmen may be eligible to borrow up to $5,500, sophomores up to $6,500, and juniors and seniors up to $7,500. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 in unsubsidized loans over an enrollment year. If the PLUS loan is denied, up to an additional $4,000 to 5,000 may be available on request after eligibility is confirmed.
Federal Direct PLUS Loans are available to graduate students and parents of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half time. Financial need is not a requirement. Borrowers can request a loan for up to the full cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. This loan enters repayment 60 days after full disbursement. Some PLUS loans qualify for deferment of payments while the student is enrolled at least half time.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) are available for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Awards range from $100-$4,000. This federal grant is awarded based on the Expected Family Contribution and the availability of funds. Your FAFSA application determines eligibility. Funding is limited and priority is given to Pell Grant recipients.
Federal Work Study provides part time employment opportunities for eligible students, allowing them to earn money to pay educational expenses. Students usually work an average of 8 to 16 hours per week and receive a paycheck biweekly. The paycheck is made out to the student and the student chooses how to use the money. Eligibility for this program is determined by the Berry Office of Financial Aid and is based on demonstrated need and the availability of funds.