Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens the door to a world of financial assistance you would not otherwise have available to you. When you file the FAFSA as a first-time college student, you are considered for all of the following federal aid grant and loan programs.
These are forms of financial assistance that families are not responsible for paying back. Federal grant programs include:
Pell Grants are awarded to students whose Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is less than $5,486. The grants averaged $3000 but ranged up to $6,095. Students taking summer classes may be eligible for additional Pell funds. The grant amount depends on the student's EFC, enrollment and the total amount of funds appropriated by Congress for the program.
FSEOGs are available to a limited number of PELL eligible students. In awarding these grants, the government gives priority to the students with the greatest need. The average award per year is $1,000.
The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for students who need financial assistance. Jobs are available both on and off campus. Students receive paychecks to help with personal expenses up to a maximum of $2,500 per year.
The U.S. Department of Education offers student loan options to eligible students and parents. The loans are offered under the condition that they will be paid back, over time, by the borrower. Federal loan options include: