Your Guide to Federal Student Financial Aid

Your Guide To Federal Student Financial Aid

People from all walks of life are able to attend a college or university thanks to the availability of federal student financial aid. A college education can increase your earnings potential exponentially. For this reason, many are going to college for the first time, while others are continuing their education. The following information will teach you everything you need to know to pay for the education you desire.

Types Of Federal Student Financial Aid

There are many different types of financial aid offered by the federal government. The three main types of financial aid are grants, loans and work-study programs. Each of these provides financial support to college students enrolled in an accredited college, university or trade school.

A grant is often awarded based on need. This type of financial aid does not have to be paid back. However, in some instances you will be required to pay back the money if you do not complete the enrollment period.

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans are low-interest loans available to students attending an accredited university, college or trade school. These loans offer low-interest rates and the ability to repay the loan once your education is completed. There are two types of loans available to students: direct subsidized loans and direct unsubsidized loans.

Direct subsidized loans are available to students in an undergraduate program and are only for those who show a financial need for such loans. You must be enrolled in the school at least part-time to qualify. Additionally, these loans offer a grace period for repayment. Generally, you do not have to begin paying for your loans until six months after you graduate.

Direct unsubsidized loans are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. This type of loan can be taken regardless of your financial needs. Unlike the direct subsidized loans, you are responsible for paying the interest on the loan during your education. If the interest is unpaid while you are in school, the interest will accrue and be added to the principal amount borrowed.

Work Study Programs

Federal work-study programs offer students who show a financial need a part-time job opportunity. These work-study programs are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Most are related to the student’s course of study, allowing them an opportunity to gain experience, while earning money for college.

Where To Find Federal Student Financial Aid Information

There are many places where you can find federal student financial aid information; however, the most reliable place to find information is at your college, university or trade school. Visit your school’s financial aid department for information about these and other types of financial aid available. Additionally, there are several federal financial aid websites online that will guide you through the financial aid process.

To qualify for any of the financial aid discussed above, you will need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FASFA. If you are interested in attending a college, university or trade school, utilize federal student financial aid help you pay for your schooling.  For more information please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

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