Federal Family Education Loan Programs: Federal Stafford Loans, Federal PLUS, and Federal Consolidation Loan Programs
Part B of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (the Act) created the guaranteed student loan programs. The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 (P.L. 102-325) reauthorized the Act and renamed the guaranteed student loan programs the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. These program names have been changed: Federal Stafford Loans (formerly Guaranteed Student Loans), Federal PLUS loans, and Federal Consolidation Loans. These programs make long-term loans available to students attending institutions of higher education; vocational, technical, business, and trade schools; and some foreign schools.
Campus-Based Programs: Common Elements
The Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Federal Work-Study (FWS) programs are called 'campus-based" programs because each school is responsible for administering them on its own campus. A school applies for and receives program funds directly from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) by submitting an application, the Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP), each award year. (See page 5-3.) The school's financial aid administrator is responsible for ensuring that eligible students at the school receive program funds according to the provisions of the law, the regulations, the Program Participation Agreement signed by both the Secretary of Education and the school's chief administrative officer, and other criteria ED may establish.
Federal Pell Grant Program
This chapter of The Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook describes how a school calculates and pays Federal Pell Grant (Pell) awards to eligible students and how it reports those payments to the U.S. Department of Education (the Department).
Federal Perkins Loan Program
Loans under the Federal Perkins Loan Program include Federal Perkins Loans, National Direct Student Loans (NDSLs), and National Defense Loans. (No new Defense Loans were made after July 1, 1972, but a few are still in repayment.) Federal Perkins Loans and NDSLs are low-interest, long-term loans made through institutional financial aid offices to help needy undergraduate and graduate students pay postsecondary educational costs. The school must give priority to students with exceptional financial need as defined by the school. (See Section 1 of this chapter.) The current interest rate is 5%.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program
The purpose of the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Program is to provide grants to undergraduate students with exceptional need to help pay for their postsecondary education. This provision is in Section 413C(c)(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Giving priority to applicants with exceptional financial need, schools selecting FSEOG recipients must use the selection criteria discussed in Section 1 of this chapter.
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program gives part-time employment to undergraduate and graduate students who need the income to help meet the costs of postsecondary education, and it encourages FWS recipients to participate in community service activities. Since the beginning of the 1994-95 award year, schools have been required to utilize money from their FWS Program funds to compensate students employed in community service jobs. (See below.)
General Program Information
The Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook explains the policies and procedures required in the proper administration of the Student Financial Assistance (SFA) Programs. Defined in law, in regulation, or as guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (the Department), these policies and procedures facilitate the effective operation of the federal processing system and of the reporting systems for individual programs. Following is an overview of the SFA Programs, a brief discussion of the contents and structure of this handbook, and a discussion of recent major changes to SFA-related law and regulations. Also, a basic SFA glossary and useful telephone listings appear at the end of the chapter.
Institutional Eligibility and Administrative Requirements
The purpose of this chapter is to describe how a school becomes eligible to participate in the Student Financial Assistance (SFA) Programs, and to explain the administrative and fiscal requirements of SFA Program participation. In addition, this chapter discusses refund calculations, proper documentation and record keeping, disclosure requirements, and other issues relevant to the general administration of the SFA Programs.
State Grant Programs
This chapter covers the State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) Program, the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship (Byrd) Program and the National Early Intervention Scholarship and Partnership (NEISP) Program. The SSIG, Byrd, and NEISP programs are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).
Student Eligibility and Financial Need
This chapter of The Federal Student Financial Aid Handbook describes the student eligibility requirements that affect the Student Financial Assistance (SFA) Programs. The calculation of financial need, a key determinant of student eligibility, is examined here, as are the details that pertain to documenting citizenship status and other eligibility criteria. Documentation necessary for proving citizenship status, a list of Student Aid Report (SAR) comments for matches and hold files, and the Selective Service's Status Information Letters appear in the appendices.