Part: 1 - - General information about postsecondary opportunities
SectionTitle: Sources of aid
Sources of aid
Many high school students do not know that they may be eligible for
financial aid to attend college. Unfortunately, many of the neediest
students assume that they cannot afford to go to college to continue
their education. Financial aid is often available, though, through
private, institutional, and federal student aid programs.
To help students find out more about the Student Financial
Assistance (SFA) programs administered by the U.S. Department of
Education, be sure to give them copies of The Student Guide, as well
as any information offered by your state's higher education agency.
The Department sends copies of The Student Guide to all
participating SFA schools. Individual copies may also be ordered by
mail or by telephone:
Federal Student Aid Information Center
P.O. Box 84
Washington, DC 20044
telephone: 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)
The Department of Education has set up an automated Application
Ordering System, through which financial aid offices may order bulk
quantities of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),
the Spanish version of the FAFSA, and The Student Guide.
You may also call the Hotline (1-800-284-2788) using a touch-tone
telephone to check the status of orders and to enter new orders.
When you call this number, the automated voice system will prompt
you for your school's mailing list number. Upon request, the AOS
Hotline will provide information on previous orders, including the
mailing date. To order additional forms, the AOS Hotline will first
verify the orders, the date since the last order, and the
appropriateness of the ordered quantities.
If you have problems with your order, or if you need to increase or
decrease your order, call the AOS customer service line at 1-800-
394-7084 Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m.
and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Please note that Dear Colleague Letter ANN-96-4 (September 1996)
provides guidance on the Application Ordering System.
The SFA Programs are authorized by the Higher Education Act of
1965, as amended ("the law"). For 1996-97, the SFA Programs
delivered more than $38 billion in aid to more than seven
million students, representing a substantial commitment by the
Department to provide financial assistance for postsecondary
students. However, other important sources of aid may also be
available to your students. Encourage your students to check the
reference section of the school library or public library. Appendix
A provides some helpful references.
The Major SFA Programs
The Department administers the following major SFA programs:
Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- Federal Work-Study
- Federal Perkins Loans
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loans
- Federal Direct Stafford Loans
- Federal Direct PLUS Loans
Federal Family Education Loans
- Federal Stafford Loans
- Federal PLUS Loans
Grants (Pell and FSEOG) do not have to be repaid; loans
(Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS) must be repaid. Federal Work-Study
(FWS) provides income from a part-time job.
Federal Pell Grants are awarded through strict rules set by
the Department. If a student is eligible on the basis of these rules,
you can pay the student his or her Federal Pell Grant and will be
reimbursed by the Department. For the campus-based programs, the
Department funds participating schools annually at a specified level.
When those funds are expended, no more campus-based aid is
available at that school. Therefore, the earlier an eligible student
applies, the more likely he or she is to receive campus-based aid.
There are two types of federal student loans: subsidized and
unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are awarded to students on the basis
of financial need. The federal government covers the borrower's
interest during some significant periods, such as during at least half-
time attendance, thereby subsidizing these loans. Unsubsidized loans
are not need-based; the borrower must pay interest throughout the
life of the loan. Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are available to
students; PLUS Loans (for parents) are always unsubsidized (interest
is charged throughout the life of the loan).
The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct
Loan) Program enables eligible students and parents to borrow
from the Department instead of a bank or other lending institution.
The Direct Loan Program offers a range of flexible repayment
options to accommodate borrowers' varied financial circumstances.
The funds borrowed under the Federal Family Education
Loan (FFEL) Program are provided by banks and other lenders,
and guaranteed by the federal government.
An individual student cannot borrow from both the FFEL Program
and the Direct Loan Program at the same time. Similarly, a parent
cannot borrow from both programs at the same time for the same
See The Student Guide for more information on the Department's
major federal student aid programs.
Other ED Programs
The State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG) Program
assists states in providing grants to eligible postsecondary students.
Each state has its own name for this grant program, as well as its own
award amounts and application procedures. Many of the eligibility
criteria are established by the state agency administering the
program, although SSIG recipients must also meet the same basic
eligibility criteria that apply to other SFA Program recipients. States
may use a percentage of their SSIG funding to provide work-study
assistance through community service job programs. Because of the
variations in state programs, student and school inquiries about SSIG
and other state grant, scholarship, and work-study assistance should
be directed to the appropriate state agencies. These are listed in
The Department also provides student aid for disabled
persons through programs that are administered by state
vocational rehabilitation agencies. Students must meet state
eligibility criteria for these programs, and this aid must be
coordinated with student aid from other sources to prevent
duplicating benefits. Students are most likely to receive the
maximum assistance by contacting, as early as possible, the state
agencies that administer the state programs for their home states and
the financial aid offices at the schools they plan to attend.
Under the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
Program (Byrd Program), which recognizes and promotes
student excellence and achievement, the U.S. Secretary of Education
makes grants to the states to provide scholarships to exceptionally
able postsecondary students. Recipients under this program are
known as Byrd Scholars. Applicants must follow the application
procedures established by the sponsoring state educational agency
(SEA). The SEA establishes procedures for selecting the scholars
after consulting with school administrators, school boards, teachers,
counselors, and parents. Byrd Scholars are awarded an amount each
year (not to exceed the cost of attendance) for each of their first four
years of study at any institution of higher education.
[The graphic "sources of aid for 1994-95" on page 8 is provided
in the attached PDF file (pg8.pdf). This file may be viewed using version 3.0
or greater of the Adobe ACROBAT Reader software.]
Other Federal Programs
The Corporation for National and Community Service provides full-time
education awards of up to $4,725 a year. Individuals may work before,
during, or after their postsecondary education and can use the funds
either to pay current or future education expenses or to repay federal
student loans. Students must be high school graduates or have General Education
Development Certificates (GEDs) to participate in this program. For
more information, call 1 800-942-2677 or write to:
The Corporation for National and Community Service
1201 New York Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20525
The U.S. Department of Labor administers the Job Training and Partnership Act (JTPA)
through the states. Training funds vary from state to state. In most cases,
the states provide tuition and fee assistance for job training and sometimes also provide
a transportation allowance for students. For information on JTPA,
students should contact their state employment agency.
The U.S. Public Health Service administers the Nursing Student Loan Program
for undergraduate and graduate nursing students, which provides long-term,
low-interest loans to help meet the costs of education. In addition, the Public Health
Service sponsors the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Program studies
in the health professions and nursing. The Public Health Service also sponsors a number of
programs for graduate students in medicine. For more information on
financial aid programs administered by the U.S. Public Health
Service, please write to
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Public Health Service
Health Resources and Services Administration
Bureau of Health Professions
Division of Student Assistance
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
The Montgomery GI Bill--Active Duty offers education
benefits for students who enter active duty for the first time after
June 30, 1985. The student must, with certain exceptions, serve
continuously on active duty for three years of a three-year enlistment
or, for a lesser benefit, two years of an initial active duty obligation
of less than three years. A student also may qualify for education
benefits by initially serving two continuous years on active duty,
followed by four years of service in the Selected Reserve.
The Montgomery GI Bill--Selected Reserve offers education benefits for
reservists of the armed forces as well as the Army National Guard and
the Air National Guard. A reservist must have a six-year obligation to
serve in the Selected Reserve, complete Initial Active Duty for Training,
have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and remain in good standing
in a drilling unit of the Selected Reserve.
Students may qualify for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
education assistance benefits if they are spouses or children of
- veterans who died or are permanently and totally disabled as the
result of a disability arising from active service in the armed
- veterans who died from any cause while rated permanently and
totally disabled from service-related disability,
- service persons presently missing in action or captured in the line
of duty by a hostile force, or
- service persons presently detained or interned in the line of duty
by a foreign government or power.
These benefits are available for study leading to an associate, a
bachelor's, or a graduate degree at any accredited college or
university, or to a certificate or diploma from a business, technical,
or vocational school. For further information on the Montgomery
GI bill and other veterans benefits, students should call the
toll-free number for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,
The Department of Veterans Affairs also administers the VA
Health Professionals Educational Assistance Programs. The Scholarship
Awards Program provides awards on a competitive basis for undergraduate and
graduate students in health-care shortage categories such as nursing,
physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nurse anesthesia. The
Reserve Member Stipend Awards Program provides aid for students who are
(1) in the last year of an associate degree program in nursing or
(2) in either the third or fourth year of a master's program in nursing,
physical therapy, or occupational therapy. The reservist must also be a
member of the Selected Ready Reserves, eligible for the Reserve GI Bill,
and have a score above the 50th percentile on the Armed Forces Qualification
Test. In return for awards from these programs, a participant is required to provide
professional service for a designated period at a VA medical center.
For further information, contact: The Health Professionals
Educational Assistance Programs (143B), U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs, Office of Academic Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue
N.W., Washington, DC 20420, or call 1-202-273-5400.
Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) provides college-trained officers
for the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army National Guard, and the U.S. Army Reserve.
Offered at hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation, these four-year
scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to entering
freshmen. The scholarships may be worth up to $48,000, paying for
most college tuition and on-campus education fees, and providing an
additional allowance for textbooks, supplies, equipment, and
personal expenses. Application packets, information on eligibility,
and the telephone number of an ROTC advisor in a student's area
may be obtained from: Army ROTC, Gold Quest Center, P.O. Box
3279, Warminster, PA 18974-0128 or by calling 1-800-USA-ROTC.
The Air Force ROTC college scholarship program, for high
school seniors or graduates, targets those pursuing technical degrees.
Four-year scholarships may be lengthened to five years in certain
academic majors and programs. Air Force ROTC scholarships are
awarded on the basis of individual merit, not financial need. The Air
Force also offers scholarships to individuals who are already in
college. These scholarships cover one to three years of a bachelor's
degree program in certain engineering and science majors as well as
in other categories--such as premedicine majors. Applications for Air
Force ROTC scholarships may be obtained by writing to:
HQAFROTC551 East Maxwell Blvd., Maxwell AFB,
The Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps (NROTC) program offers
young men and women an opportunity to qualify for commissions in the Navy
and Marine Corps while attending college. This four-year scholarship is
available to recent high school graduates and is awarded annually on the basis of high
school class standings, college entrance test scores, extracurricular
activities, and leadership qualities. The Navy pays for tuition, the
cost of textbooks, instruction-related fees, and a subsistence
allowance of $100 per month for a maximum of 40 academic
months. For information concerning the NROTC scholarship
program, contact any college that offers NROTC or write to:
Commander, Navy Recruiting Command/Code 314, 4015 Wilson
Blvd., Arlington, VA 22203.
Nonfederal Sources: State, Private, Institutional
Students should contact their state agencies for information
about state programs. A student might qualify for a private
grant or scholarship for academic achievement, religious affiliation,
ethnic or racial heritage, community activity, artistic talent,
leadership potential, athletic ability, proposed field of study, or
hobbies and special interests. The American Legion offers an
inexpensive guide to private sources of aid called Need a Lift? (See
Appendix A for the address.) Other books about financial aid may be
available through your school library or public library. In addition,
many postsecondary schools have their own sources of student
Lastly, there are computerized scholarship search services that will
match a prospective student with sources of financial aid. These services
tend to be relatively expensive, so a student or parent should consider the
extent of the search being offered before committing to such a service.
More than 75 percent of all aid awarded comes from federal and state programs
that students can easily find out about through The Student Guide and other
publications. Some services guarantee that the student will be
eligible for at least five sources of financial aid, but these sources
may include the SFA programs. If someone has had problems with a
scholarship search firm, he or she may contact the local Better
Business Bureau or the U.S. Postal Service.
See page 5 for information on obtaining individual copies of The