Major Student Aid Programs
Education is the single most important investment an individual can make in their life. In order to finance this investment, the United States Department of Education makes student aid available in the form of grants, loans, and work study. These forms of student aid are made depending on the specific individual’s financial need. APSCU supports policies to enable millions of American’s the chance to attend college. Maintaining vibrant loan and grant programs are essential to achieve this goal.
Direct Loan Program
The Direct Loan program is a federal student aid program which contains several different types of federal loans. The Department originates about $105 billion in student loans each year. This past year, 2011-2011, about 10.4 million students took out Stafford Loans, which make up most of the Direct Loans. Since PSCUs typically represent older, non-traditional students, about 96 percent access the Direct Loan program. APSCU believes maintaining access to the Direct loan program is paramount in order to have a first rate workforce. APSCU continually advocates for public policies that protect student access to loans.
The Pell Grant is a need-based form of financial aid designed to help America's lowest income students obtain a college education. According to the most recent statistics from the National Center for Educational Statistics, 36% of students attending PSCUs are at or below the poverty level, 28% are at twice the poverty level, and 16% are at three times the poverty level. For many of these students, PSCUs are their only option to obtain any postsecondary training. Therefore, continued and increased student access to Pell Grants is critical to students who choose to attend PSCUs. APSCU looks forward to supporting continued efforts by Congress and the Department of Education to maintain and increase funding levels for Pell Grants.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is a campus based aid program administered by the college or university itself. Each participating school receives a certain amount of FSEOG funds each year from the U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid. Once the full amount of the school's FSEOG funds has been awarded to students, no more FSEOG awards can be made for that year. In other words, FSEOG funds are first come, first served.
Federal Work Study (FWS)
The FWS Program provides funds for part-time employment to help needy undergraduate, graduate, or professional students finance the costs of their education. Students may be employed by the institution itself, a public agency, a private nonprofit organization; or a private for-profit organization. It is administered by schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program. For more information, please check with your school's financial aid office to find out if your school
STUDENT LOANS AND FINANCIAL LITERACY
Attending college is an important investment in anyone’s future. However, understanding the costs to finance you education is important as making the decision to attend college. There are a number of tools available at the Department of Education’s website which can educate you in understanding repayment process. Therefore, before attending college and undertaking substantial debt, APSCU encourages you to think about several issues. First, how much do you really need to borrow? If you are able to work while in school then perhaps taking out more than the cost to cover attendance is not necessary. Second, understanding the differences between federal and private loans is very important. Loans that are made by the federal government generally have more favorable repayment options than private loans. Similarly, federal loans have different interest rates associated with them compared to private lenders. APSCU encourages all prospective students to explore federal loans before moving to private loans. Sometimes, however, federal loans will not cover the full cost of attendance and private loans are necessary. APSCU encourages all prospective students to shop around for the best interest rate and repayment terms and to fully understand them before signing a loan document. Find more information on FinAid's website.
APSCU is committed to making prospective students aware of the costs and repayment of college before individuals matriculate. We also advocate for positions which will limit student debt, empower students to easily understand student loans and the repayment process, and limit fraud, waste and abuse of student loans.