Federal Aid

Federal Student Aid is the go to site for everything you need to know on how to prepare for college, the type of aid you may be eligible to receive, how to apply, and how to manage your loans once repayment begins. Most students are eligible to receive some form of federal assistance such as grants, work-study, or loans and are encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), where they will be considered for federal aid.

Grants

Grants

Federal Pell Grant (PELL)

The Federal Pell Grant is an entitlement program awarded to eligible students based on their financial need and who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree or initial teaching credential. The PELL amount is based on the student’s need and the number of units the student is enrolled in per term. Fund Limits: Students have a lifetime Pell Grant limitation of 6 years (600%), or 12 full-time equivalent terms. Students who have received their lifetime maximum will not be eligible for the Pell Grant. Your remaining eligibility is viewable in your myhumboldt portal under the Financial Matters Tab.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) 

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) are awarded to eligible undergraduate students who have Pell Grant eligibility. Funding for this grant is very limited and is usually awarded only to students from historically low-income families. Fund Limits: Once a student has earned a total of 150 units, they are no longer eligible to receive this grant. Your earned unit total is viewable in yourportal under the Financial Matters Tab as your earned unit total.

Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program

The TEACH Grant Program provides funds for students who are completing or who plan to complete coursework that is required to begin a career in teaching, and agree to teach full time for at least four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families and to meet other requirements. Fund Limits: Lifetime Limit of $16,000; only for students enrolled in their first credential program.

You must complete TEACH Grant Counseling and sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS) each time you receive a TEACH Grant. Before receiving a TEACH Grant at HSU, you must complete the following:

  • Meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to review the program and receive one-on-one counseling.
  • TEACH Grant (Initial and Subsequent) Counseling: must be completed online in a single session and may take 20 minutes to complete. Make sure to have your verified FSA ID with you and the TEACH-eligible School Name.
  • Agreement to Serve (ATS): must also be completed online in a single session and may take 20 minutes to complete. Make sure to have your verified FSA ID with you, the TEACH-eligible School Name, personal information, and reference information for two people with different U.S. addresses who have known you for at least 3 years.

 

Work Study

Work Study

Federal Work Study (FWS)

Federal Work Study is a financial aid program that allows you to earn money to meet your educational costs through an on-campus or community job and the money earned does not have to be repaid. FWS is generally awarded to students enrolled full time, the types of awards and work vary depending on available funding and jobs. You are responsible for seeking out and applying for your own position and all jobs including FWS jobs are listed online through Springboard at the Academic and Career Advising Center. You may also want to check with faculty within your department for job availability. When you apply for FWS jobs, you will need to verify you have a work study award. You can do this by viewing your award on your Student Center.

Most students are eligible for FWS but funds are extremely limited and are typically exhausted in the first week of the application period, which is why it is important to submit an application on the first day it is available (October 1) and you must apply by the priority deadline of March 2 in order to be eligible to receive FWS. If you are not initially awarded FWS, first search and secure an on-campus job, then have your employer contact our office. Your eligibility will then be determined and if funds are available, you can be awarded. 

Off-campus/Community Service Work Study: You must meet with the Development Coordinator at the Academic & Career Advising Center before beginning an off-campus work study job. Contracts must be created for positions in the community and community employers are typically associated with the private or non-profit sector.

Benefit of a FWS job

  • Opportunities to work on campus in the field in which you're most interested
  • Working on campus means a more flexible schedule, as your employers are aware of finals, spring break, and other academic events that might require time off
  • Your primary focus is school so you are limited to 20 hours per week
  • You can also find work in the non-profit sector, the government, or a school in our area
  • Work study is an excellent opportunity to "try out" your choice of career before you graduate
  • The Department of Education pays a large percentage of your wages and the employer you work for pays the remaining amount of your wages.
  • All work study is considered taxable income however, work study earnings are looked at differently when you complete your Financial Aid application (FAFSA) and may not impact your eligibility.

Fund Limits: Once a student has earned a total of 150 units, they are no longer eligible to participate in any work study programs. Your earned unit total is viewable in your myhumboldt portal under the Financial Matters Tab as your earned unit total.

Loans

Loans

Federal Direct Loans & PLUS Loans

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is the largest federal student loan program. Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender and requires students to be enrolled in at least 6 units to remain eligible to receive funds and for existing loans to remain in deferment. There are two types of Direct Loans and two types of PLUS Loans available:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are loans offered to eligible undergraduate and credential students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education at a college. Interest does not accrue on subsidized loans while the student is enrolled. This type of loan is offered to students who are eligible, the loan must be accepted or declined, a co-signer is not necessary, and the amount is based on the student’s dependency status and class level.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans offered to eligible undergraduate, credential, and master’s students who do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan. Interest will accrue while the student is enrolled. This type of loan is offered to students who are eligible, the loan must be accepted or declined, a co-signer is not necessary, and the amount is based on the student’s dependency status and class level.
  • Graduate PLUS Loans are loans offered to eligible graduate or professional students who do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan. This type of loan helps pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Interest will accrue while the student is enrolled. A student must apply separately for this loan, a credit check does apply, and the max a student is able to borrow is the difference between the already accepted aid and the cost of attendance.
  • Parent PLUS Loans are loans offered to eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. A parent must apply separately for this loan, a credit check applies, and the max a parent is able to borrow is the difference between the student’s accepted award and the cost of attendance. Repayment and deferment options are available.

Fund Limits: Annual & Lifetime Limits apply to most loans; review Loan Summary Chart for Federal Direct Loans and PLUS Loans for more information regarding loan eligibility and amounts, interest rates, loan fees, and grace periods.

Loan Entrance Counseling

The Federal Government requires s all first-time student borrowers to complete Loan Entrance Counseling which is intended to provide you with important information about your responsibilities, obligations, and rights as a borrower and to ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of your federal direct loan.

As an undergraduate, the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. As a graduate or professional student, the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Direct PLUS Loans. This also fulfills the requirements for disbursement which must be met in order for the student to receive funds.

Loan Entrance Counseling provides important information to prepare you to understand what borrowing entails and how to budget your federal student loan(s) and financial aid. The entire counseling process must be completed online in a single session. Most students complete counseling in 20-30 minutes. Make sure to have your verified FSA ID with you including details on your income, financial aid, living expenses, and contact information.

Loan Agreement: Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Prior to receiving your first loan disbursement, you will be required to read and sign a Loan Agreement (MPN). A promissory note is a legal document signed by you, as the borrower, prior to disbursement of a loan that binds the borrower to the terms and conditions of the loan agreement. It contains information about interest rates, repayment terms and minimum repayment rates, deferment, forbearance, cancellation, credit bureau reporting, late charges, attorney fees, collection costs and default.

The MPN or loan agreement, is available for the student Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loans, the Graduate PLUS Loan, and the Parent PLUS Loan borrowers, and can be completed online by logging in to Student Loans with your verified FSA ID (the same ID used to sign & submit the FAFSA), details on your income, financial aid, living expenses, and contact information. We should receive an electronic record of your MPN automatically within a few days; keep a copy for your records.

The MPN can cover multiple Direct Loans over a maximum ten-year period, which allows borrowers to obtain additional loans without having to sign a new one for each academic year. Student may defer payments while still enrolled in at least part-time (6 units for undergraduates/5 units for undergraduates). All requirements for disbursement must be met in order for the student to receive funds.

Exit Counseling

If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program, you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Take a Leave of Absence
  • Graduate from the institution
  • Withdraw from school

Any of the above reasons may place you into repayment within 6 months, so please make sure to stay in contact with your loan servicer so that you remain in good standing with your loans. Avoid having your loan could go into delinquency and/or default. If you are transferring schools or have taken a leave of absence, sometimes all your servicer needs is verification of enrollment from your institution’s Registrar’s Office in order for them to verify that you are in fact enrolled at your current institution.

Exit Counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s). The entire counseling process must be completed online in a single session. Most students complete counseling in 20-30 minutes. Make sure to have your verified FSA ID with you including details on your income, financial aid, living expenses, and contact information.

Loan Servicers

A loan servicer is the organization you will communicate with to manage all information regarding your federal loans, including repayment and contact information. The federal government will assign one servicer to manage your loans, and they are committed to making sure that you will only have one servicer which allows one contact for all your loans.

It is important that you stay in touch with your loan servicer(s). If you change your name, move, leave school, transfer to another educational institution, or change your graduation date, inform your servicer right away. If your records indicate that you are no longer enrolled, or if your servicer cannot reach you, your loan could go into delinquency and/or default. Once repayment starts, if any problems arise that affect your ability to repay, you must remember to contact your loan servicer(s) immediately to discuss your situation to avoid jeopardizing your credit record. You may be able to delay repayment or to arrange other payment options. You can view your loan history and find the name and contact information of your servicer at the National Student Loan Data System.

Manage Your Loans

HSU Financial Aid wants you to borrow wisely and help you stay on top of your debt. Check out these resources!