For many students, attending college would not be possible without the help of federal aid programs. These types of programs make up the largest source of student aid by providing more than $100 billion a year in loans, grants, and work-study assistance, according to the U.S. Department of Education. To qualify for this type of aid students have to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student aid, otherwise known as the FAFSA, which determines the amount of assistance a student can receive based on their need, enrollment status, and university cost of attendance.
Federal Aid makes college possible through loans. Federal student loans allow students to borrow money that can be repaid with interest after they graduate. These loans are funded and distributed by the government to help in-need student pursue an education. The Federal Stafford Loan is one of the most common and offers any student attending school at least half-time a low fixed-rate loan. After accepting a Federal loan, it is disbursed directly to your school and applied toward the cost of your tuition and fees. After paying your bill, the school will give any left over money directly to you to use for additional educational expenses like books and school supplies.
Federal aid makes college possible through grants. Grants are considered gift aid and do not have to be repaid by the student. One of the most common types of grants is the Federal Pell Grant, which is considered the foundation of financial aid to which other federal and nonfederal aid can be added. These types of grants are typically only awarded to undergraduates who have not yet earned a degree. Grant amounts depend on financial need, cost of attendance, enrollment status, and whether or not the student plans to go to school the full academic year.
Federal aid makes college possible through work-study programs. These types of programs allow students to earn money to help pay for education expenses while they are enrolled in school. A work-study program is considered a campus-based program since they are conducted through your school’s financial aid office. A certain amount of funds are given to schools each year to put toward a work-study program for their students. If you are deemed eligible for work-study, it is up to you to contact your school and enroll in the program through them. This is something that students should do as soon as they can because once their school has filled all available work-study positions for that year no more awards will be available.