HomeParents/EducatorsPaying for CollegeFederal Student Aid

Federal Student Aid

Who is eligible for federal aid?

Here is a list of basic criteria you must meet to be eligible for federal aid.

How much Federal Student Aid will I receive?

This depends on your financial need.

Financial need is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your college’s Cost of Attendance (COA)

EFC is calculated using financial information report on FAFSA.

COA is tuition, fees, room & board, transportation and personal expenses.

Can I estimate how much Federal Aid I will receive?


  • FAFSA4caster- Go to www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov

          Enter financial information to receive an estimate

  • College Board EFC Calculator- Go to www.bigfuture.collegeboard.org

          Click on pay for college and then select EFC Calculator

  • Each school should also have a “Net price calculator” on their website.

What are the Federal Aid programs?

  • Federal Pell Grant: $5550 max per year
  • TEACH Grant: $4,000
  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans:

           $5,500 combined total for 1st year student.

           $6,500 combined total for 2nd year student.

           $7,500 combined total for 3rd year and beyond student.

          If parents are DENIED for Parent PLUS loan student may receive additional Unsubsidized Direct Loan up to an additional $4000.

  • Federal Perkins Loan: $5,500 per year based on availability.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: up to $4,000
  • Federal Work-Study: depends on funds available at school
  • Direct PLUS Loan (for parents): COA minus other aid received

What will I need to apply for Federal Aid?

  • A copy of your parent’s most recent Federal Tax Return (1040).
  • A copy of the student’s Federal Tax Return (if they filed) if not, a paystub (if they worked).
  • An FSA ID for the student to electronically sign the FAFSA.
  • Your social security number.
  • Records of all your assets.

See "7 Things You Need Before You Fill Out the FAFSA" for more information.

How do I apply for Federal Aid?

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Try to have the school codes for each school you would like to receive your FAFSA information.
  • Be sure that both the parent and the student electronically sign using the student's FSA ID.
  • Be sure to save/print your confirmation page.

Where can I get more information?

Check out these resources for parents from Federal Student Aid.

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