Federal Student Aid For All Your Tuition Fee Woes

Federal Student Aid (FSA), an office of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the United States. Additionally, Federal Student Aid is responsible for enforcing the financial aid rules and regulations required by the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the U.S. Department of Education and managing the outstanding federal student loan portfolio. Federal Student Aid provides financial assistance to students enrolled in eligible programs at participating postsecondary schools (accredited four-year or two-year public or private educational institutions, career schools or trade schools) to cover the cost of education expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Most federal aid is need-based. The three most common types of aid are grants, loans, and work-study funds.

Grants

  • Federal Pell Grants are designed for low- and middle-income undergraduate students. Pell Grants for the 2011-2012 school year range from $555 to $5,550.
  • The Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant is awarded to students who are ineligible for a Pell Grant only because of the program’s need requirements and whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. The maximum award is $5,500 for the 2011-2012 school year.
  • The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is awarded to undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, or graduate students who are taking coursework necessary to become elementary or secondary teachers. Recipients of this grant must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students for at least four academic years. The maximum award is $4000 for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Loans

  • Federal Stafford Loans are made to students and PLUS Loans are made to parents through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program: Eligible students and parents borrow directly from the federal government at participating schools. Direct Loans include Direct Stafford Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans.
  • The Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program: Until July 1, 2010, a large percentage of federal loans were made through private lenders with federally guaranteed funds. FFEL loans included FFEL Stafford Loans, FFEL PLUS Loans, and FFEL Consolidation Loans. The FFEL Program ended on July 1, 2010 under provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. All new Stafford, PLUS, and consolidation loans are now administered through the Direct Loan Program.

Campus-Based Aid

  • Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest loans made through a school’s financial aid office using federal funds. Undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need are eligible to receive a Federal Perkins Loan.
  • The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a program through which Federal Student Aid provides funds to schools, who in turn offer the grant to students. FSEOG grants range from $100 to $4,000 during the 2011-2012 school year.
  • The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

How to get started:

  • Click on www.myedaccount.com
  • Click on the link that applies to you, such as Federal Student Aid

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