The United States government is the leading provider of financial assistance in the nation. Over $150 billion is awarded annually through federal financial aid programs to students in need. Over 15 million students receive federal aid each calendar year. In order to receive aid, you must fill out and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each school year.
Financial aid comes in many different forms, based on your level of need. You may be eligible for grants, loans or federal work-study.
Grants are financial aid awards that do not need to be paid back. The most common grant issued by the government is the Federal Pell Grant. Visit the Federal Grant Programs page to learn about some of the grants offered through the federal government.
Student loans offered through the federal government generally have agreeable terms and low interest rates. You are not obligated to begin repaying your loan until after graduation. There are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. To learn more about the types of loans you can receive, visit the Federal Loan Programs page.
Basic eligibility requirements stipulate that you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with financial need. Typically, you are considered an eligible non-citizen if you possess a green card. To apply for federal aid, you must have a valid Social Security or tax identification number. If you are a male between 18 and 25, the application process requires that you register with the Selective Service. You must be enrolled at least half-time and maintain good academic standing to continue receiving aid.
Additional benefits are available if you are the child of a U.S. armed service member who lost their life in Iraq or Afghanistan post-9/11.
Students with intellectual disabilities are eligible for aid, including Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and federal work-study programs.
Students who have been convicted of a drug or sexual offense may have limited aid available to them.
If you are unsure about whether or not you qualify, contact the financial aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org.