Federal student aid programs can help pay college costs
The federal government sponsors numerous financial aid programs that can help students and their parents pay college expenses. This brief summary from KHEAA describes the more common federal grant and loan programs. Grants generally do not have to be repaid, but loans do.
Federal Pell Grant: Pell Grants will provide up to $6,195 for the 2019–2020 school year for undergraduates with financial need. The amount may change each year.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant: grants that provide up to $4,000 per year for undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need.
Federal Direct Loans: These loans are available to undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The amount students may borrow depends on their year in school.
Federal PLUS Loan: Parents of dependent undergraduate students may qualify for PLUS Loans, depending on the parents’ credit ratings. The amount available depends on how much other financial aid the student receives. Graduate and professional students may apply for PLUS Loans if they have exhausted their Direct Loan eligibility.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to apply for all of these programs. Families seeking a PLUS Loan must also submit a separate application.
KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit www.kheaa.com.
In addition, KHEAA disburses private Advantage Education Loans for its sister agency, KHESLC. For more information about Advantage Education Loans, visit www.advantageeducationloan.com.