What is Available
Federal Student Aid Programs include grants, loans and part-time employment. Eligibility for most of these programs is based upon the "demonstrated financial need" of the student applicant and the applicant's family. However, financial need is not an eligibility criterion for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the Federal Direct PLUS Loan or the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. Therefore, most federal student aid applicants will be eligible for some form of financial assistance through the federal student aid programs regardless of demonstrated financial need. In order for eligibility to be determined, federal student aid applicants must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
PLEASE NOTE: USA does not require a student to complete a FAFSA in order to be eligible for private student loans.
Eligibility for federal aid is determined on the basis of financial need as well as several other factors. In order to receive aid from federal programs, students must:
Have financial need (which is NOT required for the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct PLUS Loan or Direct Graduate PLUS Loan ).
Have a high school diploma or GED or pass a test approved by the Department of Education.
Be degree-seeking in a program of study.
Be enrolled in an eligible program of study and taking classes required of that program.
Have a valid Social Security number.
Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. If a student is in the U.S. on an F1 or F2 student visa or only a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa they are NOT an eligible non-citizen.
Register with the Selective Service System if required.
Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school.
Attend at least half time to receive a Direct Loan.