State and Federal sources of financial aid funds

The federal government provides $33 billion in grant aid to post-secondary education students annually. The aid comes in several forms:

Need-based federal aid:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work Study
  • Perkins Loans
  • The Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • National SMART Grant (National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant)

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Financing options:

  • Federal PLUS loans (also known as Direct Plus Loans)
  • Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Also known as  Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans)
  • Other parent loans
  • Alternative Student Loans

The Department's Federal student aid programs are the largest source of student aid in America. These programs provide more than $80 billion a year in grants, loans, and work-study assistance. In order to receive a grant from the federal program, your college must qualify to administer these grants. Check with your school’s financial aid department to be sure your school is a qualified participant.

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