Federal Student Loans Tips

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The Federal Perkins Loan

Chase Tip: Additional eligibility criteria include those required by your school's financial aid office. Due to the limited amount of college funding that they have available to award, they may require that you enroll in a minimum number of credit hours to qualify for college funding. They also will have a standard set to ensure that you are making satisfactory progress towards a degree or certificate which may include a review of your overall GPA.

What is the difference between a Direct Loan and an FFEL Loan?

The Direct Loan Versus FFEL Loan Program

There are actually two types of federally funded Stafford Loans: the Direct Loan and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL). A Direct Stafford Loan can be obtained through participating colleges and universities but is borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. The FFEL Stafford Loans are made through private lenders but are guaranteed by the government. If you receive an FFEL Stafford Loan, you or your child are only required to submit the FAFSA and will not undergo a credit check. Most schools participate in one of the two programs although you may find some that participate in both.

What is the maximum amount a student can receive in Stafford or Perkins Loans?

Maximum Need-Based Student Loan Award Amounts

Students who qualify for federal student loans are sometimes surprised to learn that there is a maximum amount they may be able to receive. This amount is based on their year in school and the amount of student loan debt that have accumulated overall. For undergraduate students, the maximum subsidized Stafford student loan amounts are: $2,625 year one; $3,500 year two; and $5,500 for years three and four. Graduate students may qualify to receive up to $8,500 per year. The overall maximum for an undergraduate student is $23,000 while graduate students can accumulate up to $65,500 in subsidized Stafford Loans.

What is work study?

Work Study

It is not unusual for a college student to hold down one or more part-time jobs to help with their college costs. What may seem different is when the federal government is footing the bill and providing the funds to hire these students. Students with a demonstrated financial aid may be able to receive work study funds. By choosing this option, you could reduce the amount of student loans you need to cover your educational expenses. This will benefit you in the long run when considering how much money you need to repay after leaving college.

What is the Federal Perkins Loan and how do I qualify for it?

The Federal Perkins Loan

The federal government really does provide low-interest student loans for qualified students. The information you provide on your financial aid application is used to determine how much financial need you have. In addition, to qualify for a Perkins Loan you must be a high school graduate or GED recipient; be already enrolled or accepted into a degree or certificate program at an accredited institution; maintain status as a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen with a social security number; use the loan funds to pay educational expenses only; and, verify that you are not currently in default on any other federal loan.


The Direct Loan Versus FFEL Loan Program

Chase Tip: If you are receiving a PLUS Loan as a means of college financing, the school will also participate in either the Direct Loan program or the FFEL program. With the Direct PLUS Loan, the application and promissory note will be sent to you as one form to complete and return to the school's financial aid office. With the FFEL PLUS Loan, you will receive an application from the school, lender or guarantee agency for your state. After you return the form to your child's school, they complete their portion and then send it on to the lender. The private lender will then evaluate the application to make a determination on whether or not it meets their credit granting standards for college financing. A PLUS Loan will require a credit check.


Financial Aid For Distance Education Programs

Chase Tip: Continuing education can be a great way to further your career,as well as improve your personal development. But that development isn't free and there comes a time where you need a loan to cover continuing education costs. Continuing education student loans are offered through a variety of lenders. You can typically find a flexible loan that gives you the option to defer until you complete your courses. Continuing education student loans usually require that you have good credit and are citizen of the United States or a permanent resident.


Work Study

Chase Tip: When you participate in work study, you can use that money for college. This money can be used for either tuition, books or other educational expenses. With a work study job, you work a set amount of hours in a semester and earn a specific amount of money for college that the federal government has determined is need-based.


Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans

Chase Tip: For those students who do not demonstrate a financial need or those who need funds in addition to what they receive from a subsidized Stafford loan, they may be able to receive unsubsidized Stafford student loans. Similar to a subsidized Stafford loan, payments are deferred until after the student leaves school and begins repaying the student loans. However, the interest accrued on an unsubsidized Stafford loan is not paid by the federal government. Instead the interest accumulates and is added to the balance that you owe.


Maximum Need-Based Student Loan Award Amounts

Chase Tip: Another federal student loan is the Perkins Loan. The maximum amount that may be awarded for a Perkins Loan is $4,000 per year as an undergraduate and $6,000 per year for graduate students. In addition, the cumulative maximum for this federal student loan for an undergraduate student is $20,000 and for a graduate student it is $40,000 (including any Perkins loan funds received as an undergraduate).


Stafford Loans

Chase Tip: If you're thinking about applying for a Stafford Loan, be sure to check the requirements in order to receive Federal Stafford loans. Some of the criteria you must meet include being a U.S. citizen or national, a U.S. permanent resident or eligible non-citizen, having a valid social security number, you must be atleast a part-time student and guarantee that you will be using the money strictly for educational purposes only. These are just some of the things required for Federal Stafford Loans. Consult your lender to learn what else you must do to apply.

Can I get federal financial aid to pay for a distance education degree program?

Financial Aid For Distance Education Programs

One of the requirements to receive federal financial aid funds is to be enrolled in an approved program of study. In most cases, the government does not provide financial aid for enrolling in correspondence, telecommunications or other distance education types of programs. An exception to this rule is when the courses are part of a degree program (associate's, bachelor's or graduate degrees) and through an approved educational institution. If your school does not provide federal financial aid for the distance education programs they offer, check with the financial aid office to see what other options you can explore include private student loans.

What is a benefits of Federal Student Aid?

Benefits of Federal Student Aid

There are many benefits to financial aid but one of the most notable is that it makes a college education affordable for millions of students each year. Without it the door to a higher education would be closed. Millions of students who complete their degrees each year are able to increase their earning potential during their lifetime and provide a better living for their families.

Am I charged loan fees on a federal student loan?

Loan Fees On Federal Student Loans

The amount you are awarded for a Stafford loan will not be the actual amount you receive due to the fact that you will be charged an upfront loan fee. Each loan disbursement you will receive will already be reduced by a fee of 4 percent. On the other hand, Perkins Loan borrowers are not charged any loan fee when they receive their initial disbursement. However, as with any other debts both Stafford and Perkins borrowers may be subject to late fee, penalties and other collection costs should they fail to make the required payments once they have begun the repayment period on the loans.

Are there any requirements to continue to receive financial aid?

Student Achievement And Grades Can Impact Financial Aid

In order to continue to receive financial aid, students need to maintain good grades. Federal financial aid like grants and loans also require students to make satisfactory progress toward a degree or certificate. The college or university you attend will set its own standards for student satisfactory academic progress. To find out the standards at your institution, contact your financial aid office.

When will I receive my student loan disbursement?

Student Loan Disbursement

Typically, when you receive federal student loans each semester, your college will deduct your college expenses like tuition, fees, and college housing before making the remaining funds available to you. The funds that you receive are expected to cover any remaining educational expenses you may have. First time borrowers are expected to complete entrance counseling before their funds will be disbursed. In addition, an undergraduate student must wait 30 days after the semester has started to receive their student loan disbursement the first time.

What is the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loan?

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans

Financial need for students is determined by subtracting the expected family contribution (EFC) from the cost of attendance. The amount that remains is what you still need to cover your educational costs. Those students who demonstrate financial need are eligible to receive a subsidized Stafford student loan. This loan carries a competitive interest rate and the student is not required to make any payments while they remain in school. As long as the repayment period has not begun, the federal government will pay any interest that accrues on the loan until you begin the repayment period.

What factors are used to determine my eligibility for financial aid?

Eligibility For Federal Student Loans

In order to qualify for federal student loans, in most cases, you need to first show that you have a financial need. Once that has been established, the amount you may be awarded is dependent on that cost of attendance at your college or university. In addition, other factors may be considered such as part-time or full-time student status; degree seeking (graduate or undergraduate); citizenship; and, maintain minimum GPA (may vary by institution). Students whose GPA slips below the minimum may be placed on probation and risk losing any future financial aid award.

What is a Stafford Loan?

Stafford Loans

Students who have a financial need based on the results of their federal financial aid application could qualify to receive Stafford Loans. These loans have a higher interest rate than the Perkins Student Loans, but still have the advantage of having payments deferred while you remain in school. Both graduate and undergraduate students may be eligible to receive a Stafford Loan to help pay expenses associated with the cost of their education.

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