Types of Financial Aid

The four main sources for financial aid are the federal government, the state government, postsecondary institutions, and private organizations.


Grants can be an important part of your financial aid package.

If you have filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you’ve automatically applied for the major federal grant programs. To receive a grant, you must have financial need as defined by the federal government. You also must meet the eligibility requirements for financial aid

There are two major types of federal grants:

Federal Pell Grant

The Pell Grant program is the federal government’s largest student financial aid program. The maximum Pell Grant is based on full-time enrollment. The actual amount you get depends on a number of eligibility factors. If you’ve already received a bachelor’s degree, you’re not eligible for a Pell Grant.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Pell Grant recipients with exceptional financial need may qualify for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Funding for the grant is limited. Priority is given to students with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that completed their FAFSA early.  A typical grant is $400 for the academic year.


Almost all students qualify for loans, regardless of their family income. The U.S. Department of Education provides low-interest loans, which are called federal Direct Loans.

In order to be eligible for a loan, you must enroll in at least six credit hours in a program that’s eligible for financial aid.

Taking out a loan is a serious commitment. You’ll be required to sign a legal contract, called the Master Promissory Note (MPN), that gives you certain rights and responsibilities as a borrower. By signing this contract, you’re agreeing to pay back the money you borrowed—with interest—after you leave school. If you don’t, there are consequences that affect your credit and other factors.

Types of Federal Direct Loans

There are two types of Direct Loans:

  • Direct Loans for students to help pay for their education
  • Direct PLUS Loans for parents to help pay for their dependent children’s education. We encourage students to apply for the Federal Direct Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized) prior to determining PLUS Loan eligibility.

Federal Loans vs. Private Loans

Federal loans are a better deal than loans from private lenders. Federal student loans generally have lower interest rates that are fixed, generous repayment plans, no repayment penalties, and no credit checks (except for PLUS Loans).

For More Information

The federal government website offers lots of detailed information about loans.


Many students can qualify for scholarships. Some scholarships require financial need, some are based on merit, and some combine both criteria. There also are special scholarships for students with disabilities. For more information on how to apply visit the scholarships page.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. Students may not work more than 25 hours per week; hours vary by department.

Student Employment Requirements

  • Currently enrolled in at least 6 credit hours
  • Completed a FASFA application for the current academic year
  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Complete Student Employment Application
  • Work study award approved through the Financial Aid Office
  • Participation in two (2) Student Employment Professional Development trainings per semester

If you are not sure if you have received or are eligible for a work-study award, please contact Human Resources at 517.796.8468.