every student is eligible for some form of financial aid.
Students who may not be eligible for need-based aid may
still be eligible for an unsubsidized Stafford Loan
regardless of income or circumstances.
A student who can meet the
following criteria may be eligible for aid:
- is a U.S. citizen, a U.S.
national, or an eligible non-citizen;
- has a valid Social
- has a high school diploma
or GED or for adult students, pass an Ability-to-Benefit
- is registered with the
U.S. Selective Service (male students age 18-25);
- completes a FAFSA
promising to use any federal aid for education purposes;
- does not owe refunds on
any federal student grants;
- is in a degree seeking
program (many certificate programs included as well,
check with school)
- is not in default on any
student loans; and
- has not been found guilty
of the sale or possession of illegal drugs while federal
aid was being received.
Student Aid and Fiscal
Responsibility Act (SAFRA) changes the criteria for
suspension of eligibility for drug-related offenses.
Previously, students could lose eligibility for either the
possession or sale of a controlled substance during the
period of enrollment. SAFRA drops the penalties for
possession of a controlled substance but retains the
penalties for sale of a controlled substance. SAFRA
increases the suspension to two years for a first offense
and indefinite for a second offense.
Students who are military
veterans and active duty service members may apply for
financial aid by filing a FAFSA even if they also apply for
education and housing benefits offered by the Post-9/11 G.I.
Bill and its accompanying Yellow Ribbon program. The amount
of military aid a student receives for a college education
does not defer eligibility or reduce the amount of student
aid that student could receive from the four federal grant
programs - Pell, SMART, ACG, and TEACH - and many of the
state student aid programs.
of financial aid
By completing the FAFSA you
are applying for several different
types of financial aid, ranging from grants, to low interest
part-time jobs. The four most common types of Federal aid are
* Perkins Loan, which has a a rate of 5% and
ranges in award from $0 tp $5,500 per year
Students and parents planning to borrow federal student
loans between July
1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 will
be paying more in interest than they did in the 2015-2016
school year. Federal student loan interest rates are tied
to the 10-year Treasury. The yield of the auction held this
year was 0.80% higher than last year’s which means federal
student loan interest rates will increase by the same
margin. Here is a breakdown of the new federal student loan
interest rates by program:
* Direct Stafford Loan (see rates below)
* Direct PLUS Loan (see rates below)
* Pell Grant
Federal student loan rates are locked in for the period in
which they are borrowed. The new, rates will only apply to
loans borrowed in the 2015-2016 academic year. Rates will be
reset again during the 10-year Treasury note auction held
1, 2016, for the 2016-2017 school year.
Students have two options
when preparing their annual federal student aid application:
file the form on the U.S. Department of Education's website or get help from
a professional fee-based preparer. The Higher Education
Opportunity Act of 2008 authorized fee-based FAFSA
preparation. (The options are much like those for taxpayers
who may either prepare their own income tax forms or get
assistance from professional tax-preparation services or
Fee-based preparation of the aid form had been allowed as
early as 1995. HEOA formalized the option in 2008.