Federal Aid

Federal aid is evaluated based on the results of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal aid is primarily "need-based" and eligibility is determined by several factors. This includes: Expected Family Contribution (EFC), receipt of the FAFSA by our preferred filing date, and timely submission of all documentation requested for verification. The types of federal aid that may be awarded based on the FAFSA are Direct Stafford Loans, Perkins Loan, Pell Grant, and the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG). Continue reading for more information about these below.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Stafford Loans are long-term, fixed-interest rate federal loans awarded based on a review of your FAFSA, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), and your enrollment status. First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an Entrance Counseling session online at studentloans.gov. Repayment of Stafford Loans begins six months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment status (six credits). There are two types of Stafford Loans:

  1. Subsidized: No interest accrues until you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment status. 
  2. Unsubsidized: Interest begins to accrue immediately.

The 2013-2014 undergraduate interest rate for both types is 3.86%.

Please review the Time Limitation on Direct Subsidized Loan Eligibility for First-Time Borrowers on or after July 1, 2013.

Direct Stafford Loan Annual and Aggregate Loan Limits

YEAR OF STUDY* DEPENDENT STUDENT AMOUNT INDEPENDENT STUDENT AMOUNT
First year (0-29 credits) $5,500 (max $3,500 Sub.) $9,500 (max $3,500 Sub.)
Second year (30-59 credits) $6,500 (max $4,500 Sub.) $10,500 (max $4,500 Sub.)
Third and beyond (60+ credits) $7,500 (max $5,500 Sub.) $12,500 (max $5,500 Sub.)
Maximum total $31,000 (max $23,000 Sub.) $57,500 (max $23,000 Sub.)

*Year of study credit level based on enrollment in an undergraduate degree program. Tiered eligibility differs for undergraduate diploma students.

Federal Perkins Loan

The Perkins Loan is a long-term, fixed-interest loan awarded based on a review of the FAFSA, SAP, enrollment status, and availability of funding. Interest does not begin to accrue on this loan until nine months after you graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment status. First-time borrowers will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an entrance counseling session online at ecsi.net/promd8. The current undergraduate interest rate for this loan is 5 percent.

Federal Pell Grant

Pell Grants are awarded based on a review of the FAFSA, SAP, and enrollment status. All students who complete a FAFSA are considered for this grant. By definition, this award does not need to be paid back and could be considered "gift aid." Grant amounts may be up to $5,645 annually. 

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

This grant is awarded based on a review of the FAFSA, SAP, enrollment status, and availability of funding. You must be eligible to receive the Pell Grant in order to also be eligible for SEOG. Similar to the Pell Grant, it does not need to be repaid. Grant amounts range from $100 to $4,000 annually.