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Financial Aid Preparation ChecklistsFebruary 9, 2018
Do you have questions about how to pay for school? What federal student aid is? Who is eligible for student aid? Read on to begin learning the answers!
What is Federal Student Aid?
Federal student aid comes from the U.S. Department of Education. It’s money that helps a student pay for education expenses at a college, career school, or graduate school.
Federal student aid covers expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation.
There are three main categories of federal student aid:
- Grant—Grant money usually doesn’t have to be repaid. Most federal student aid grants are based on a student’s financial need.
- Loan—Loan money must be repaid with interest.
- Work-study—Work-study money is earned by a student through a job on or near campus while attending school and does not have to be repaid.
For details about the federal student aid programs, including maximum annual amounts and loan interest rates, visit StudentAid.gov/types.
Who Gets Federal Student Aid?
Basic eligibility requirements:
- Demonstrate financial need
- Be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Be registered with Selective Service if you’re a male
- Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program
- Be enrolled at least half-time
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress in college
- Sign a statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that you:
Are not in default on a federal student loan
Do not owe money on a federal student grant
Will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
- Show you’re qualified to obtain a postsecondary education by having one of the following:
High school diploma
General Education Development (GED) certificate
Completing a high school education in a homeschool setting approved under state law.
Note: There are some additional requirements and exceptions. For more details about eligibility criteria, visit StudentAid.gov/eligibility.