Federal Financial Aid Programs
Financial aid, simply defined, is money, which helps students pay for their educational costs. Aid may be in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, employment opportunities, or a combination of all of these.
The Financial Aid Office is primarily responsible for the processing of Federal Title IV aid and coordinating federal aid with other funds, such as scholarships. Title IV aid includes Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal College Work Study, and Federal Direct Loans. Various departments and agencies on and off campus award other scholarships and grants. The Financial Aid Office is a good resource for questions concerning these other types of aid.
Most federal programs require the student to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA gathers information that is used to determine the relative financial strength of the student’s family or the “need” for assistance. Please note that eligibility criterion for each of the programs varies. Students may be able to establish need for all programs while others are able to establish eligibility for one program but not all programs. The following is a general summary of the programs available at PTC and is intended to give you an overview of these programs.
Federal Pell Grants
This is the basic grant available to undergraduate students who have demonstrated an exceptional financial need on the FAFSA and have not earned a bachelor or professional degree or Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used.
Calculating Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Used
The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is limited by a new federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding a student can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.
Scheduled Award: The maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive is calculated for an “award year.” An award year is a period from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year. Your “scheduled award” is partially determined by using your expected family contribution (EFC) that is calculated from the information you (and your family) provided when you filed your FAFSA. Your scheduled award is the maximum amount you would be able to receive for the award year if you were enrolled full-time for the full school year. Your scheduled award represents 100% of your Pell Grant eligibility for that award year.
Percent Used: To determine how much of the maximum six years (600%) of Pell Grant you have used each year, the Department compares the actual amount you received for the award year with your scheduled award amount for that award year. Of course, if you receive the full amount of your scheduled award, you will have used 100%. Some students do not receive their entire scheduled award for an award year. There are a number of reasons for this, the most common of which are that the student was not enrolled for the full year or that the student was not enrolled full-time, or both.
If you did not receive the full amount of your scheduled award, we calculate the percentage of the scheduled award that you did receive. For example, if your scheduled award for an award year is $5,000, but because you were enrolled for only one semester you received only $2,500, you would have received 50% of the scheduled award for that award year. Or if you received only $3,750 for the award year because you were enrolled three-quarter-time and not full-time, you would have received 75% for that year.
Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU): The Federal Department of Education keeps track of your LEU by adding together the percentages of your Pell Grant scheduled awards that you received for each award year. You can determine how much Pell you have used and what you have remaining at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
SEOG grants are intended, as the name implies, to supplement other aid. These grants are federally funded with each school receiving a fixed amount each year. Funds are awarded to a limited number of undergraduate students with preference being given to Pell recipients demonstrating exceptional financial need.
Subsidized Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans made to students attending school at least half time. Loans are made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, or saving and loan association. These loans are insured by a state guarantee agency and the Federal Government. Students who are continuously enrolled at least half-time make no payments on the interest or the principal of this loan. Payments begin six months after graduation (or enrollment is terminated).*
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans are available to students who might not be eligible for a subsidized loan. The term unsubsidized means that payments on the interest should be made while you are enrolled. Like a Subsidized Federal Direct Loan, these loans are insured by a guarantee agency and the Federal government. Students who are continuously enrolled at least half time make no payments on the principal of this loan while in school. Payments begin six months after graduation (or when enrollment is reduced to less than halftime or terminated). Unlike Subsidized Direct, interest begins accumulating immediately. *
Federal Direct Loan recipients who have never received a student loan while enrolled at PTC are required by federal regulation to complete a loan counseling session. No loan can be disbursed prior to completion of this requirement. Students will receive important information about the Federal Direct Loan at this counseling session.
FIRST-YEAR, FIRST TIME BORROWERS...
*When you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time from PTC, you must complete an exit interview through the PTC Financial Aid Office.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a low interest loan made to parents or legal guardians of dependent undergraduate students attending school on at least a half-time basis. Eligibility is not based on demonstrated financial need. The amount the parent may borrow under the Federal PLUS Loan Program will depend on the financial aid award established by the institution the student is attending. This loan may not exceed the student's cost of attendance minus other financial aid, but it can be used to replace the "expected family contribution" (EFC). Credit checks are performed on borrowers of Federal PLUS Loans.
Federal PLUS Loan disbursements are sent directly to the financial aid office in at least two equal payments. These funds are forwarded to the school for loan first disbursed by individual check.
1. The Federal PLUS Loan Program interest rate beginning July 1, 2006 is fixed at 8.5%.
PTC offers students, with financial aid eligibility, Federal College Work study. To learn more about the process of applying for work on campus, contact your Financial Aid Advisor.
Pulaski Technical College