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Types of Federal Financial Aid

We're committed to making paying for school as affordable as possible, which is why we're happy walk you through the federal financial aid programs available to you. While we are pleased to offer affordable tuition rates, we know that financial aid is still important to our students.

Federal financial aid for college can come in the form of grants, subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans, and military benefits. We are here to help you understand the difference.

Federal Pell Grant

Pell Grants are only awarded to undergraduate students working on their first bachelor's degree. The Pell Grant is a form of gift aid (no service or repayment requirements) with eligibility based on need. To be considered for the Pell Grant a student must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov annually. Grants are restricted to undergraduates at Colorado State University-Global Campus.

The Federal Pell Grant amount is determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) listed on the Student Aid Report and the student's enrollment status each trimester. Students who attend full-time (at least 12 credits per trimester) would receive their full annual Pell grant in two trimesters at CSU-Global. Pell Grant is re-evaluated each federal award year that runs July 1 through June 30.

Federal Stafford Loans

The U.S. Department of Education administers several loan programs designed to offer low-interest funding to students who need to borrow money to cover the costs of education. One such program is the Federal Stafford loan program. In order to qualify for a Direct Loan, you must complete the FAFSA and meet the basic eligibility requirements for Title IV Financial Aid, be enrolled at least half-time, complete Direct Loan entrance counseling, and sign a Master Promissory Note. 

The Federal Stafford Loan Program is intended solely to aid students pursuing a degree in higher education. Borrow only the amount you believe is necessary to pay for educational costs. Keeping the amount of a loan at a minimum will ease repayment.

Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

  • A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The federal government pays the interest while a student is in school and during grace and deferment periods.
  • An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You'll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it's paid in full. If you allow the interest to accrue while you're in school or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized—that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount.

Interest Rates and Fees

The Direct Stafford Loan interest rate and origination fees vary depending on the date of disbursement. For up-to-date interest rates visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.

Annual Loan Limits for Stafford Loans

Federal Stafford loans have both annual limits and lifetime limits for what a student is permitted to borrow. These limits are based on an undergraduate's classification (e.g. freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior) and whether a student is considered Dependent or Independent, based on results from the FAFSA application. Graduate students do not have Dependent or Independent distinctions, but do have different limits than undergraduate students. Lifetime maximum limit debt allowed includes all outstanding federal Stafford loans borrowed at other institutions.

Dependent Undergraduate Student:

  • 1st Year $5,500 – only $3,500 may be subsidized
  • 2nd Year $6,500 – only $4,500 may be subsidized
  • 3rd and 4th years $7,500 – only $5,500 may be subsidized
  • Lifetime Maximum Limit $31,000 – only $23,000 may be subsidized

Independent Undergraduate Student:

  • 1st Year $9,500 – only $3,500 may be subsidized
  • 2nd Year $10,500 – only $4,500 may be subsidized
  • 3rd and 4th years $12,500 – only $5,500 may be subsidized
  • Lifetime Maximum Limit $57,500 – only $23,000 may be subsidized

Graduate Students:

  • Each academic year $20,500 – graduate students are only eligible to receive unsubsidized loans.
  • Lifetime Maximum Limit $138,500 – only $65,500 may be subsidized

Federal PLUS Loans

The U.S. Department of Education also administers a loan program for Dependent students that can be borrowed by the student's parent. Awarding of this loan is subject to credit approval. Parents, step-parents, or adoptive parents may apply. Completion of the FAFSA is required for the PLUS loan. Yearly loan limits are calculated at the time the PLUS loan is awarded and are dependent on the student's Estimated Cost of Attendance. The interest rate and origination fees vary depending on the date of disbursement. Please visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.

Federal Graduate PLUS Loans

Graduate students can also qualify for a graduate PLUS loan. Like the Federal PLUS loan, it is subject to credit approval. Yearly loan limits are determined by the student's Estimated Cost of Attendance. Completion of the FAFSA is required for the PLUS loan. Students who receive graduate Stafford loans may not qualify for any graduate PLUS loan. The interest rate and origination fees vary depending on the date of disbursement. Please visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/interest-rates.

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