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Financial Aids
Financial Aids for Students in USA


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Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid includes :-

  1. Free :- Scholarships and Grants
  2. Requires a work/service commitment :- Work-study employment
  3. Repaid :- student loans.
These types of financial aid may come from several sources, including federal and state government agencies, colleges and universities, and other private organizations.

Financial aid programs

Available only for undergraduate students/parents include :-
  1. Federal Pell Grants
  2. Federal PLUS Loans
  3. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
Aavailable for both undergraduate and graduate students include :-
  1. Federal Work-Study
  2. Federal Perkins Loans
  3. Federal Stafford Loans
  4. Financial Aid for Health Professions Students
    (Note: only the Nursing Student Loan is available for undergraduate study)
  5. Private Loans
  6. Outside Scholarships
To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and meet other eligibility criteria explained on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal Pell Grants :- Federal Pell Grants are available to eligible undergraduate students. For 2004-2005, students with an expected family contribution (EFC) of less than 3850 may be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant. The maximum amount available for the 2004-2005 academic year is $4,050. Individual grants are based on a student's EFC, cost of education, and full-time or part-time enrollment status.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG):- These grants are for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need; priority is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients. Similar to Federal Pell Grants, FSEOGs are administered by the financial aid office at your school. The maximum annual FSEOG amount is currently $4,000, but varies by school depending on funding.

Federal PLUS Loans :- Federal PLUS Loans are for parents of undergraduate students enrolled at least half time. The borrowing parent must have good credit; however, there is no minimum or maximum income requirement to qualify. The amount borrowed cannot exceed the total cost of education per year, minus any financial aid received. The interest rate on a PLUS Loan is variable, not to exceed 9%. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. See the Loan Center for more detail and current interest rates on Federal Stafford and PLUS Loans. Nellie Mae provides both Stafford and PLUS Loans, as well as private loans, for borrowers.

Federal Work-Study (FWS) :- This program provides jobs either on or off campus for undergraduate and graduate students. The wage for FWS jobs will be at least the current federal minimum wage, but varies depending on the type of work and skills required. Job placement, pay scales and work schedules are determined by the school.

Federal Perkins Loans :- These are low-interest loans (5%) for students with exceptional financial need. The maximum annual loan amount is $4,000 for undergraduate students and $6,000 for graduate students. The grace period before repayment begins is nine months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.

Federal Stafford Loans :- These are low-interest loans (interest capped at 8.25%) made to undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in school at least half time. There are two types: subsidized and unsubsidized. The grace period before repayment begins is six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.
  1. A Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan is based on financial aid eligibility (determined by the FAFSA); the government pays the interest while the student is in school, during the grace period and during any authorized deferment periods.
  2. An Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan is not need-based, which means it is available to eligible students at any income level. The student (not the federal government) is responsible for paying interest on the loan. If you choose to postpone payment of interest while in school, the interest will be "capitalized" (added to the principal amount).

Annual & Aggregate Federal Stafford Loan Limits


(Subsidized & Unsubsidized)1
1st Year $2,625 $2,625
2nd Year $3,500 $3,500
3rd Year and On $5,500 $5,500
(and dependents whose parents are not eligible for a PLUS Loan)
Subsidized Total
(Subsidized & Unsubsidized)1
1st Year $2,625 $6,625
2nd Year $3,500 $7,500
3rd Year and On $5,500 $10,500
(and dependents whose parents are not eligible for a PLUS Loan)
$23,000 $23,000

1. If you do not have financial need for a subsidized Stafford Loan under the FAFSA process, or you have reached the aggregate limit in subsidized Stafford Loans, you may receive up to this entire amount in unsubsidized Stafford Loans assuming you have remaining eligibility for the loan.
2. Certain health professions students may qualify for higher limits.

Federal Aid for Health Professions

Other types of federal student aid are available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for students in certain health professions programs. The student aid programs include: Exceptional Financial Need Scholarship (EFN); Financial Assistance for Disadvantaged Health Professions Students (FADHPS); Loan for Disadvantaged Students (LDS); Primary Care Loan (PCL); Nursing Student Loan (NSL); and Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students (SDS). Find out more about these programs by contacting the Bureau of Health Professions (click on Health Professions).

Private Loan Programs

Students/families who are not eligible for federal loans, or those who need to supplement federal financial aid amounts, may wish to borrow private student loans. Private Programs provides low-cost private education loans for undergraduate students and families and to graduate borrowers through our EXCEL and EXCEL Grad Loan programs.

EXCEL Loans are generally borrowed by a parent or other credit worthy borrower on behalf of an undergraduate student. Annual loan limits are from $500 up to the cost of education, less other financial aid. Borrowers can make interest-only payments while the student is in school at least half time.

Student EXCEL Loans allow sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate students with good credit to borrow on their own. Freshmen and others without good credit may use the Student EXCEL Loan with a co-borrower. No payments are required while you're in school at least half time.

EXCEL Grad Loans are available for graduate and professional students; they include:

  1. MBA EXCEL (business)
  2. MD EXCEL (medical & dental)
  3. Law EXCEL (law)
Grad EXCEL (other graduate programs)

Grad students may borrow from $500 up to the cost of attendance per year (less other financial aid). No income is required to qualify and no payments are required during school. Plus, medical and dental students in their final year can borrow an additional $12,000 through our R&R EXCEL Loan; and final-year law students can borrow up to $10,000 through our B&B EXCEL Loan. Visit Nellie Mae's Loan Center for more detail and current interest rates. EXCEL and EXCEL Grad Loan applications are available to download; or you can pre qualify and apply online at the Loan Center

To check your credit report and determine if you are a credit worthy borrower, visit EquifaxTM.

Outside Scholarships and Other Resources

Many public and private foundations, businesses and community organizations provide scholarship funding for higher education. Students can conveniently search for scholarship opportunities online through www.wiredscholar.com. NOTE: Avoid using scholarship search providers that require you to pay for their services.

Graduate students should also explore funding opportunities through your graduate department, including teaching and research assistantships, as well as from professional organizations associated with your field of study.

And don't forget to consider other potential resources, including:
  • Tuition reimbursement or scholarships from your parents' employers (or your employer)
  • Other family resources (For example, parents and grandparents can withdraw funds from a 401K plan for qualified education expenses, without paying an early withdrawal penalty.)

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  • 2 or more accounts.
  • A source of income.

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