Federal Aid Programs
Types of Federal Financial Aid Programs
Financial Aid consists of grants and loans provided by the federal government to those who can demonstrate eligibility. Each type of aid has specific eligibility requirements. Qualifying students may be eligible for more than one type of aid.
Generally, to be eligible for Federal Student Aid, a student must:
- Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans).
Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate or state-specific equivalency credential, or complete a high school education in a home-school setting that is treated as such under state law.
Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program.
Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizens
Have a valid Social Security Number.
Register with the Selective Service if required. A student can use the paper or electronic FAFSA (question #22) to register, register at www.sss.gov, or call 1-847-688-6888, or call Toll Free 1-888-655-1825. (TTY users can call 1-847-688-2567.)
Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school.
Not be in default on a federal student loan at any school or owe money on a federal student aid grant overpayment.
- Certify that he or she will use Federal Student Aid only for educational purposes.
- Be attending at least half-time (for loan program only).
- Not have property subject to a judgment lien for any debt owed to the United States Government.
- Not be incarcerated in a Federal or State penal institution.
The student will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form in order to apply for Federal Student Aid. The form can be completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
ISSA's federal school code is: 042434
The student’s actual eligibility amounts will be determined from the information reported on the FAFSA.
Need-Based and Non-Need-Based Federal and State Financial Aid
Students are potentially eligible for a variety of aid programs; some are need-based and some are non-need based as determined by the information provided and verified on the FAFSA.
How Eligibility for Need-Based Aid is Determined and How Need-Based Aid is Awarded
Students are awarded financial aid based on the student’s financial need. Financial need is determined by a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (computed from information provided on the FAFSA) as compared to ISSA’s Cost of Attendance (COA).Those who have a positive number remaining after the EFC is subtracted from the Cost of Attendance may qualify for some need-based aid sources. To meet with federal regulations, ISSA defines the neediest students as those whose EFC = $0.
Resources Included in Financial Aid Packages are awarded as follows in this order:
1. The Pell Grant is awarded to students who meet the federal criteria as determined by EFC levels. The amounts of the award vary as the federal government determines.
2. Student Loans are awarded last. Students are offered their maximum loans based on dependency status (dependent or independent) and by level in college (first year or second year). Those who have completed less than 36 units at ISSA are first-year students and those who have completed 36 units or more at ISSA are second-year students.
Below are the programs ISSA currently participates with:
Federal Pell Grants
The Pell Grant is aid that does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded to students who have a financial need as determined by the U.S. Department of Education standards. Annually, the U.S. Department of Education determines student eligibility for this Grant. For the 2017-18 award year, the maximum Pell Grant for a full-time student attending three quarters in the Award Year is $5920. Students eligible for a Pell Grant may qualify for less depending on their Estimated Family Contribution and enrollment status (number of credits taken) each quarter. Not all students will qualify for a Federal Pell Grant.
A student is eligible to receive a Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters or the equivalent. If a student has exceeded the 12-semester maximum, he or she will lose eligibility for additional Pell Grants. Equivalency is calculated by adding together the percentage of Pell eligibility that he or she received each year to determine whether the total amount exceeds 600%.
For example, if Mike’s maximum Pell Grant award amount for the 2012-2013 school year was $5,550, but he only received $2,775 because he was only enrolled for one semester, he would have used 50% of his maximum award for that year. If during the following school year (2013-2014), he were to enroll three-quarter time for the entire year, he will use 75% of his maximum award for that year. Together, he will have received 125% out of the total 600% lifetime limit.
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student’s education after high school. The lender is the U.S. Department of Education, though the entity the borrower deals with, the loan servicer, can be a private business. The Borrower Rights and Responsibilities Statement issued by the Department of Education with the Master Promissory Note includes information regarding use of the loan money, information the borrower must report to the Department of Education after the loan is received, the amount the borrower may borrow, the interest rate, payment of interest, the loan fee, repayment incentive programs, disbursement information, loan cancellation, the grace period, loan repayment information, late charges and collection costs, demand for immediate repayment, defaulting on the loan, consumer reporting agency notification, deferment and forbearance options, discharge, loan consolidation, Department of Defense and other federal agency loan repayment, and Americorps program education awards.
A Disclosure Statement is issued to the borrower by the Department of Education once the Department receives a loan origination record from the school. A Notice of Disbursement(s) Made Letter is issued to the borrower by the Department of Education once the Department receives a disbursement that was made to the borrower.
Federal student loans are required by law to provide a range of flexible repayment options, including, but not limited to, income-based repayment, income-contingent repayment plans, and loan forgiveness benefits, which other student loans are not required to provide. Federal Direct Stafford loans are available to students regardless of income. Before taking out loans, students should visit the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid website at http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans to learn more.
Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
The Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan program provides low-interest loans through the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Program. It is awarded on the basis of need. The maximum annual loan amount for undergraduate students is $3,500 for the first academic year, and $4500 for the second academic year less origination and other fees (if applicable). Beginning July 1, 2012, only undergraduate students are eligible for subsidized loan funding. The Federal government pays the interest while the student is in school, in grace, and during deferment periods. Effective for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, interest begins accruing on these loans when the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment status. Repayment begins six months after the borrower ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. The minimum repayment amount is $50 per month, but it may be greater depending on the amount borrowed.
However, subsidized Federal Direct Stafford loans provide many flexible repayment plans as outlined in the loan counseling materials. Payments are based on the repayment plan selected by the student. Current interest rates can be found at the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#interest-rates.
Borrowers with other outstanding loans may be able to consolidate eligible loans and make only one monthly payment. Please refer to the loan entrance counseling materials found at https://studentloans.gov/ for additional information.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
Unsubsidized Student Loans are federally guaranteed loans that are available for students who desire to pursue education, but lack the financial resources to do so. These loans are not based on financial need. Interest on the unsubsidized student loans starts to accrue as soon as the loan is disbursed to the school. The federal government does not pay the interest on the loan while the student is in school. These are fixed interest loans and a student is not required to start making repayments while he or she is in school. Students are not required to make interest or principal payments until 6 months after graduation. These loans can be used to pay for the total expenses of your education: tuition, housing, reading materials, and other expenses related to studies.
Student loan borrowers are responsible for all interest that accrues on the loan while in school, in grace, and during deferment periods. The student may elect to make interest payments while in school to avoid the capitalization of interest and to lower the overall repayment debt. Loan repayment will begin six months after the student leaves school or attends less than half time.
The interest rate for undergraduate unsubsidized loans can be found at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#interest-rates.
Please see the Financial Aid Administrator at the school to receive further information regarding the maximum Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford annual loan amounts for the second or subsequent academic years.
All federal loans will be reported to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) as part of the student’s financial aid history. The information will be accessible to authorized agencies, other post-secondary institutions, lender and Federal loan servicing agencies.
ISSA does not participate in the PLUS Loan program.
State Aid Programs
If you were in Foster Care prior to reaching the age of 18 in California, please access the following resource:
ISSA does not currently participate in the Cal Grant program for California residents.
Please refer to the following website to determine if there are any other forms of California State Aid apply to you:
If you believe you qualify for other forms of funding through California or your state of residency, please refer to the particular agency providing the aid to inquire about requirements, and contact the ISSA Financial Aid Office to include it in your financial aid package.