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The Financial Aid Office here at North American University provides publications, fact sheets, online tools, and other resources to help you prepare and pay for your education. Below, you can find our Federal Student Aid Handouts and Brochures, Commonly Used Terms, Frequently Asked Questions, Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements, and Helpful Video Resources

Commonly Used Terms

A period of time schools use to measure a period of study. Contact your financial aid office for information on how your school defines Academic Year.

Demand for immediate repayment of your entire federal student loan. The entire unpaid amount of your federal student loan becomes due and payable if you:

  • Receive loan money, but don’t enroll at least half-time at the school that determined you were eligible to receive the federal student loan;
  • Use your loan money to pay for anything other than expenses related to your education at the school that determined you were eligible to receive the federal student loan;
  • Make a false statement that causes you to receive a federal student loan that you’re not eligible to receive; or
  • Default on your federal student loan

To accumulate interest on a loan.

Adjusted Gross Income is an individual (or couple’s) total taxable income minus specific reductions. You can find your Adjusted Gross Income on your most recently filed IRS Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ, or by requesting a tax return transcript online

A limit on the total amount of subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study. If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you’re not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit.

A limit on the total amount of subsidized and/or unsubsidized loans that you may borrow for undergraduate and graduate study. If the total loan amount you receive over the course of your education reaches the aggregate loan limit, you’re not eligible to receive additional loans. However, if you repay some of your loans to bring your outstanding loan debt below the aggregate loan limit, you could then borrow again, up to the amount of your remaining eligibility under the aggregate loan limit.

The alien registration number or “A-number” is an identifying number that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assigns to certain non-citizens. A-numbers may consist of 8 or 9 digits. The A-number is yours for life, much like a Social Security Number. The A-number may be found on your green card.

The maximum federal student loan eligibility per academic year. These amounts vary by type of loan and grade level. Your school will tell you how much you’re eligible to receive each academic year. Specific amounts can be found at www.studentloans.gov.

The actual yearly cost of borrowing money reflected as a percentage rate.

A letter from your school that details your federal, state, institutional and private student financial aid.

Includes reasonable amounts, as determined by your school.

The individual who signed and agreed to the terms in the promissory note and is responsible for repaying a loan.

Unpaid interest that has been added to the principal balance of a federal student loan. Future interest is charged on the increased principal balance and this may increase your monthly payment amount and the total amount you repay over the life of the federal student loan.Unpaid interest that has been added to the principal balance of a federal student loan. Future interest is charged on the increased principal balance and this may increase your monthly payment amount and the total amount you repay over the life of the federal student loan.

The total cost to attend school for the academic year, as determined by your school.

Failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to. For the FFEL and Direct Loan programs, your loan is in default if you fail to make a payment for 270 days, if you repay monthly (or 330 days, if your payments are due less frequently). Your lender is required to report the default to at least one national credit bureau.

A benefit of federal student loans that allows you to temporarily stop making payments. You’re not generally charged interest on subsidized loans during deferment. Interest will continue to be charged on your unsubsidized loans and PLUS loans.

The cost of care during periods that include but aren’t limited to class time, study time, field work, internships, and commuting time for the student.

See William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.

A portion of a federal student loan that the school pays out by applying the funds to the student’s school account or by paying the borrower directly. Students generally receive their federal student loans in more than one disbursement.

Someone who does not have an adverse credit history and agrees to repay the federal student loan if you don’t.

An identifying number associated to a Direct PLUS Loan Request. Used by an endorser when completing a Direct PLUS Loan endorser addendum for a specific loan.

Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the number that’s used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. This number results from the financial information you provided in your FAFSA® application. Your EFC is reported to you on your Student Aid Report (SAR).

Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA® is a form that must be completed annually to help determine your eligibility for federal student aid. For more information, or to complete a FAFSA® online for free, visit FAFSA® on the Web.

Family size always includes you and your children (including unborn children who will be born during the year for which you certify your family size), if the children will receive more than half their support from you.

Support includes: money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothes, car, medical and dental care, and payment of college costs. For the purposes of these repayment plans, your family size may be different from the number of exemptions you claim on your federal income tax return.

A document issued by a court that legally ends a marriage and sets forth the terms and conditions of the divorce.

The types and amounts of financial aid (federal and nonfederal) a student is offered by the school to help pay educational costs.

The cost of attendance minus your expected family contribution.

A benefit of federal student loans that allows you to temporarily stop making payments or reduce your federal student loans’ monthly payment. Interest will continue to be charged on your subsidized, unsubsidized and PLUS loans. Some forbearances are required to be granted by your federal loan servicer; others are offered only at the discretion of your federal loan servicer.

An FSA ID consists of a username (or verified e-mail address) and password which gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature.

A period of time that generally begins on the day after a borrower graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment and usually ends six to nine months later. A borrower is not required to make payments during the grace period. Grace periods occur for:

  • subsidized and unsubsidized loans made under the Direct Loan and FFEL programs (six-month grace period); and
  • loans made under the Perkins loan program (generally nine-month grace period).

Student grants are monetary gifts to people who are pursuing higher education. Unlike student loans, grants don’t require repayment.

The minimum hours or credit hours you need to be enrolled to be eligible for a federal student loan. For information on half-time enrollment at your school contact your school’s financial aid office.

An entity that holds your loan promissory note and has the right to collect from you. Many banks sell loans, so the initial lender and the current holder could be different. The holder(s) of your Direct Loans is the U.S. Department of Education (the Department).

The holder of your FFEL Program loan(s) may be a lender, secondary market, guaranty agency, or the Department. Your loan holder(s) may use a servicer to handle billing, payment, repayment options, and other communications on your loans.

The percentage charged when you borrow money. See also Annual Percentage Rate (APR).

The IRS Data Retrieval tool is an easy and secure way to access and transfer tax return information directly onto the electronic Income-Driven Repayment Plan Request, saving time and improving accuracy.

If you don’t use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information, you must provide your servicer(s) with a copy of your tax return or obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS.

Money that you borrow and must repay.

Loan discharge is the removal of a borrower’s obligation to repay a loan when the loan is still outstanding. Loan discharge is granted on federal student loans only in limited circumstances.

A fee charged for each federal student loan you receive that is a percentage of the total loan amount you’re borrowing (gross amount). The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of your loan.

This reduces the actual loan amount you receive (net amount). The specific loan fee that you’re charged will be included in a disclosure statement you’ll receive after the first disbursement of your federal student loan. You will be required to repay the gross amount.

Loan forgiveness is the removal of a borrower’s obligation to repay a loan when the loan is still outstanding. Loan forgiveness is granted on federal student loans only in limited circumstances.

Temporary or permanent restructure of a loan.

The portion of the academic year that the loan is requested for.

An identifying number associated to a Direct PLUS Loan Request. Used by an endorser when completing a Direct PLUS Loan endorser addendum for a specific loan.

An entity that collects payments on a federal student loan, responds to customer service inquiries, and performs other administrative tasks associated with maintaining a federal student loan on behalf of a loan holder. A federal loan servicer is a loan servicer for the U.S. Department of Education. If you have a Direct Loan, you’ll be assigned a federal loan servicer.

Direct Loan borrowers are assigned a federal loan servicer after the first disbursement of their loan. Your federal loan servicer will contact you directly after you receive your first disbursement. For a list of federal loan servicers and their contact information, select “Additional Information” on the “Contact Us” page to access the list of servicers and their contact information.

A legal document in which you promise to repay your federal student loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to your lender or loan holder. There is one MPN for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and a different MPN for Direct PLUS Loans.

Most schools are authorized to make multiple federal student loans under one MPN for up to 10 years.

Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities Statement – The MPN contains a Borrower’s Rights and Responsibilities Statement that explains the terms and conditions of the loan(s) you receive.

You must list all taxable income you’re receiving this year (i.e., income from employment, unemployment income, dividend income, interest income, tips, alimony). Don’t report untaxed income such as Supplemental Security Income, child support, or federal or state public assistance.

If you would like to use your most recent AGI and it was not available through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, enter your AGI next to Your Annual Taxable Income.

Note: If you filed a joint tax return, enter your joint AGI here and leave Your Spouse’s Annual Taxable Income blank.

The central database for student aid. NSLDS receives data from schools, guaranty agencies, and other Department of Education databases.
Any Title IV grant or loan you receive will be included in NSLDS. You can access NSLDS at www.NSLDS.ed.gov

A person’s most closely related living blood relative or relatives.

Money your parents give you to help pay for educational expenses. Not the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from your FAFSA®.

Direct PLUS Loans and FFEL PLUS Loans are loans to eligible graduate or professional students and eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for the cost of the student’s education at participating schools*

  • Includes Direct PLUS Loans (made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program) and FFEL PLUS Loans (made through the Federal Family Educational Loan Program**)
  • Students’ loan information doesn’t include PLUS loans taken out by parents on their behalf.

*Graduate or professional students should exhaust unsubsidized and subsidized loans before taking out Direct PLUS Loans.
**The FFEL Program ended June 30, 2010 and no new loans have been made under the FFEL Program since that date.

A Section 529 plan. Prepaid tuition plans let you lock in future tuition rates at in-state public colleges at current prices and are usually guaranteed by the state.

The loan amount you borrowed plus any capitalized interest.

To pay back money you borrowed by making scheduled payments to a loan holder or servicer.

The maximum time period over which you must repay your federal student loan. The repayment period may range from 10 years to 30 years, depending on loan amount, loan type, and repayment plan.

A plan set up and agreed upon between a borrower and lender that determines the amount you pay each month and the number of payments you must make.

An allowance for the cost of housing and food while attending college or career school.

A summary of the information you submit on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) that provides you with your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Money you borrow for school and must repay with interest.

A federal student loan for which a borrower is not generally responsible for paying the interest while in an in-school, grace*, or deferment period. Includes Direct Subsidized Loans (made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program) and Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans (made through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program**.)

* Interest will be charged during your grace period, if your loan is first disbursed July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014.

** The FFEL Program ended June 30, 2010 and no new loans have been made under the FFEL Program since that date.

Reduces the taxes owed.
Tax – Tax Credit=Taxes Owed
$1000 – $250 = $750

Reduces taxable income.
Income – Deduction=Taxable Income
$45,000 – $5,000 = $40,000

All income you’re receiving this year (i.e., income from employment, unemployment income, dividend income, interest income, tips, or alimony). Does not include untaxed income such as Supplemental Security Income, child support, or federal or state public assistance.

A form submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and your state government on an annual basis reporting your income for the year.

The programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act are the major source of federal student aid. Title IV programs include:

  • Loans
  • Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
  • Direct Loan
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Grants
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
  • National SMART Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study (FWS)

A charge for teaching/instruction at an institution (e.g. the rental or purchase of equipment (including equipment for instruction by telecommunications), materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study).

A student who is enrolled in an undergraduate course of study at a college/university or career school that usually doesn’t exceed four years and that leads to an undergraduate degree or certificate.

A federal student loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Includes Direct Unsubsidized Loans (made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program) and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (made through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program*.)

* The FFEL Program ended June 30, 2010 and no new loans have been made under the FFEL Program since that date.

Income you don’t pay taxes on, such as Supplemental Security income, child support, or federal, or public assistance.

Student loans provided by the U.S. Department of Education to enable a student to pay for education after high school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools. Direct Loans include the following types of federal student loans: Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans.

Frequently Asked Questions

The MPN is a promissory note that can be used to make one or more loans for one or more academic years (up to 10 years). There are two types of MPNs in the Direct Loan Program: one for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and one for Direct PLUS Loans.

If you’re an undergraduate or a graduate/professional student attending a school that is authorized and chooses to make multiple loans under the same MPN for more than one academic year, you may be required to sign only one MPN for all of your Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If you enroll in college as a freshman and borrow under the Direct Loan Program for all years of study, you may be able to borrow under this one MPN for all academic years.

Note: Graduate/professional students aren’t eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans.

If you’re a graduate/professional student attending a school that is authorized and chooses to make multiple loans under the same MPN for more than one academic year, you may be required to sign only one MPN for all of your Direct PLUS Loans. You may be able to borrow under this one MPN for all academic years of graduate/professional study.

If you’re a parent whose child is attending a school that is authorized and chooses to make multiple loans under the same MPN for more than one academic year, you may be required to sign only one MPN for all of your Direct PLUS Loans. You may be able to borrow under this one MPN for all academic years of that child’s undergraduate study. Note: Parents must sign an MPN for each child for whom they are borrowing.

To complete a paper MPN, contact the school’s financial aid office.

To complete an electronic MPN:

  • From the StudentLoans.gov home page, click on the “Log In” button located in the “Manage My Direct Loans” box. The Log in page will appear.
  • Use of another person’s FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.
  • Once logged in, click on the “Complete MPN” option located under the “Master Promissory Note” heading on the left menu bar. The Master Promissory Note (MPN) page will appear.
  • Select the type of loan you would like to receive.
  • Follow the instructions to complete, sign, and submit your MPN.

Your school’s financial aid office will be notified of the completion and will contact you if further action is needed.

Before your loans are disbursed, you’ll receive a disclosure statement from us.

To view your submitted Master Promissory Notes (MPN):

  • From the StudentLoans.gov home page, click on the “Log In” button located in the “Manage My Direct Loans” box. The Log In page will appear.
  • Once logged in, click on the “Completed MPNs” option located under the “My Loan Documents” heading on the left menu bar. The “Completed Master Promissory Notes” page will appear.

No. You’ll need to complete the entire electronic MPN process in a single session. If you exit the Web Site before submitting your signed MPN and return later, you’ll have to start over from the beginning of the process.

Direct PLUS Loans are loans available to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

Parents completing an electronic PLUS MPN or Direct PLUS Loan Request must use their own FSA ID, and not their child’s FSA ID.

Direct PLUS Loans are loans available to graduate/professional students to help pay for educational expenses up to the cost of attendance minus all other financial assistance. Interest is charged during all periods.

First time borrowers must submit a Master Promissory Note (MPN). Your school also may require you to complete a Direct PLUS Loan Request. You can complete both the MPN and Direct PLUS Loan Request at this site.

Parents completing an electronic PLUS MPN or Direct PLUS Loan Request must use their own FSA ID and not their child’s FSA ID.

Use of another person’s FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.

Parent borrowers of a Direct PLUS Loan:

  • Must be the biological or adoptive parent of a dependent undergraduate or the spouse of the parent whose income and assets were reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), or would be reported if a FAFSA® were filed.
  • Must not have an adverse credit history or:
    • must obtain an endorser and complete PLUS Counseling, or
    • document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history and complete PLUS Counseling.
  • And their dependent child:
    • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
    • Must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant.
    • Must be enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program and meet the general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs, including filing a FAFSA®.

Graduate/Professional Student Borrowers of a Direct PLUS Loan:

    • Must be enrolled at least half-time at a school that participates in the Direct Loan Program and meet the general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs, including filing a FAFSA®.
    • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
    • Must not be in default on any federal education loans or owe an overpayment on a federal education grant.
    • Must not have an adverse credit history or:
      • Must obtain an endorser and complete PLUS Counseling, or

Must document to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history and complete PLUS Counseling.

Contact your school’s financial aid office if you have questions regarding your Direct PLUS Loan.

To view your submitted Direct PLUS Loan Requests:

  • From the StudentLoans.gov home page, click on the “Log In” button located in the “Manage My Direct Loans” box. The Log In page will appear.
  • Once logged in, click on the “Direct PLUS Loan Requests” option located under the “My Loan Documents” heading on the left menu bar. The “Direct PLUS Loan Requests” page will appear

Entrance counseling explains the obligations you agree to meet as a condition of receiving a Direct Loan.
Topics include:

  • Understand Your Loans
  • Manage Your Spending
  • Plan to Repay
  • Avoid Default
  • Make Finances a Priority

If you’re a student and have not previously received a subsidized/unsubsidized loan or PLUS loan (graduate/professional students only) under the Direct Loan Program or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, you must complete entrance counseling for that loan type before receiving a loan to ensure that you understand your responsibilities and the obligations you’re assuming.
Notes:
The FFEL Program ended June 30, 2010 and no new loans have been made under the FFEL Program after that date.
Graduate/professional students aren’t eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans.

If you’re a student and have not previously received a subsidized/unsubsidized loan or PLUS loan (graduate/professional students only) under the Direct Loan Program or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, you must complete entrance counseling for that loan type before receiving a loan to ensure that you understand your responsibilities and the obligations you’re assuming.
Notes:
The FFEL Program ended June 30, 2010 and no new loans have been made under the FFEL Program after that date.
Graduate/professional students aren’t eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans.

To complete entrance counseling for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans:
Log in into this Web site using your FSA ID
Use of another person’s FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.

  • Select “Complete Counseling” found in the left navigation bar
  • Select “Entrance Counseling” under “Choose Counseling Type”
  • Select the school(s) you want to notify of counseling completion
  • Select “Student Type” (Undergraduate or Graduate/Professional)

There are two ways to access entrance counseling:

1. Log in to StudentLoans.gov using your FSA ID
Use of another person’s FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.

  • Select “Complete Counseling” on the left hand navigation bar
  • Select “Entrance Counseling” under “Choose Counseling Type”

If you log in, you’ll be able to:

  • See your federal student loan information available in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • Notify schools of counseling completion
  • View proof of counseling completion

2. Select “Getting Loans” from the top navigation bar on the StudentLoans.gov home page and select “Counseling Demo.” Select “Entrance Counseling” under “Choose Counseling Type.”

  • You must log in to officially complete the counseling session. (option 1 above)
  • The “Counseling Demo” option is informational and allows school administrators to see counseling content without logging in

No, your progress won’t be saved if you navigate away from your Entrance Counseling session or logout of the StudentLoans.gov Web site.

PLUS Counseling will help graduate/professional students and parents of eligible dependent undergraduate students understand the obligations associated with borrowing a PLUS loan and assist them in making careful decisions about taking on student loan debt.

PLUS Counseling is required if the U.S. Department of Education has informed you that you have an adverse credit history and you have:

  • Obtained an approved endorser or
  • documented to the satisfaction of the U.S. Department of Education that there are extenuating circumstances related to your adverse credit history.

PLUS Counseling can be completed voluntarily at any time. If PLUS Counseling is completed voluntarily and you’re determined to have an adverse credit history by the U.S. Department of Education within 030 days of PLUS Counseling completion, your PLUS Counseling requirement will be considered to be fulfilled.

There are multiple ways to access PLUS Counseling including the following:
1. Log in to StudentLoans.gov using your FSA ID
Use of another person’s FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.

  • Select “Complete Counseling” on the left hand navigation bar
  • Select “PLUS Counseling” under “Choose Counseling Type”

If you log in, you’ll be able to:

  • See your federal student loan information available in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • View proof of counseling completion

2. Select “Getting Loans” from the top navigation bar on the StudentLoans.gov home page and then “Counseling Demo.” Select “PLUS Counseling” under “Choose Counseling Type”

  • You must log in to officially complete the counseling session. (option 1 above)
  • The “Counseling Demo” option is informational and allows school administrators to see counseling content without logging in.

To complete PLUS Counseling for PLUS Loans under the Direct Loan Program:
Log into this Web site using your FSA ID.
Use of another person’s FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.

  • Select “Complete Counseling” found in the left navigation bar.
  • Select “PLUS Counseling” under “Choose Counseling Type”.

No, your progress won’t be saved if you navigate away from your PLUS Counseling session or log out of the StudentLoans.gov Web site.

Exit counseling provides important information you need to prepare to repay your federal student loan(s).

Topics include:

  • Understand Your Loans
  • Plan to Repay
  • Avoid Default
  • Make Finances a Priority

If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan(s) under the Direct Loan Program or the FFEL Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave school

Note: The FFEL Program ended June 30, 2010 and no new loans have been made under the FFEL Program after that date

There are two ways to access exit counseling:

1. Log in to StudentLoans.gov using your FSA ID
Use of another person’s FSA ID constitutes fraud. Use only your own FSA ID information.

  • Select “Complete Counseling” on the left hand navigation bar
  • Select “Exit Counseling” under “Choose Counseling Type”

If you log in, you’ll be able to:

  • See your federal student loan information available in the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • Notify schools of counseling completion
  • View proof of counseling completion

2. Select “Getting Loans” from the top navigation bar on the StudentLoans.gov home page and select “Counseling Demo.” Select “Exit Counseling” under “Choose Counseling Type.”

  • You must log in to officially complete the counseling session (option 1 above).
  • The “Counseling Demo” option is informational and allows school administrators to see counseling content without logging in

No, your progress won’t be saved if you navigate away from your exit counseling session or log out of the StudentLoans.gov Web site.

An FSA ID consists of a username (or verified e-mail address) and password which gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and can serve as your legal signature.

To create an FSA ID?, visit this link

An FSA ID is verified:

  • If you have a PIN and link it when you create your FSA ID, your Social Security Administration (SSA) confirmation is applied to your FSA ID and you’ll be able to log in to StudentLoans.gov immediately.
  • If you don’t have a PIN or don’t link it when you create your FSA ID, your information will be confirmed with SSA. This takes one to three days, and you’ll receive an e-mail (if you provide one) when this is complete.

Once SSA confirms your information, you’ll be able to use your FSA ID to log in to StudentLoans.gov.

If you don’t have an FSA ID you won’t be able to log in to StudentLoans.gov, or other Federal Student Aid sites.

Financial Aid Eligibility Requirements

IMAGE OBTAINED FROM: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/FSA-Eligibility-11.16.12.png

General eligibility requirements include that you have financial need, are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen, be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at your college or career school, and more. Make sure you’re familiar with the basic eligibility criteria, and ask a college financial aid office if you have any questions about whether you qualify. There is no age limit when it comes to receiving federal student aid.

Students with a Parent Who Was Killed in Iraq or Afghanistan

If your parent died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, you might be eligible for additional Federal Pell Grant funding or for an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Generally, if you have a “green card” (in other words, if you are a permanent resident alien), you will be considered an “eligible noncitizen” and will be able to get federal student aid if you meet the other basic eligibility criteria. Full details of which immigration statuses make you an eligible noncitizen are at the Non-U.S. Citizen page

Students with Criminal Convictions

If you are incarcerated, have a conviction for a drug offense, or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment after completing a period of incarceration for a sexual offense, your eligibility for federal student aid may be limited.

Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Students with intellectual disabilities may receive funding from the Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Federal Work-Study programs in certain circumstances.

Staying Eligible

Once you’re in college, make sure you stay eligible for federal student aid by paying attention to a few things, including keeping on track toward graduation. And remember to fill out your FAFSA every year.

Regaining Eligibility

You might lose federal student aid eligibility in a number of ways. Some of the most common are that you

  • are in default on a federal student loan,
  • don’t maintain satisfactory academic progress in college, or
  • are convicted of a drug offense

Videos and Other Helpful Resources