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Types of Aid

Financial aid can come from federal, state, school, and private sources to help you pay for college or career school. There are four main types of financial aid for college students including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study funds.


    Grants are forms of financial aid that do not have to be repaid. Generally, grants are for undergraduate students. Grants are often need-based factoring in school cost, and enrollment status.


    Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. The amount of an individual student's grant depends upon the student's financial need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status.


    Federal grants ranging from $100 to $4000 per academic year are awarded to students with exceptional financial need. A student with exceptional financial need is determined as one who qualifies for Pell Grant funds. Funds for this program are limited.

    Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

    A federal grant that provides up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families and to meet other requirements. If the service obligation is not met, the grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

    Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

    Like other federal grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants provide money to college or career school students to help pay their education expenses. However, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants have special eligibility criteria.

    You may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant if
    • you are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of your Expected Family Contribution but
    • meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements, and
    • your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, and
    • you were under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death.


    The Alabama Student Assistance Grant Program (ASAP) is a need-based, state/federal grant ranging from $300 to $5,000 per academic year. Eligible students are undergraduate students who are Alabama residents attending eligible Alabama institutions who have a demonstrate financial need. A student with exceptional financial need is determined as one who qualifies for Pell Grant funds. Funds for this program are limited.

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    A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education. Scholarships are awarded based upon various criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. Scholarship money is not required to be repaid. AAMU ScholarshipsBack to Top

    Offered by both the federal government and private institutions, loans are money that you borrow to attend college. You must repay your loans with interest. Loans provide students and families with immediate access to funds to help cover the cost of college.



    Stafford Loans are a major form of self-help aid for students. Stafford Loans at Alabama A&M University are processed through the FFEL Program. FFEL Stafford Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. You can receive a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment period.

    A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government "subsidizes" the interest during these periods.

    An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You'll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate while you are in school or during other periods of nonpayment, it will be capitalized-that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount.


    The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible parents and graduate or professional students through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program. Direct PLUS Loan are commonly referred to as a parent PLUS loan when made to a parent, and as a grad PLUS loan when made to a graduate or professional student.

    private loans

    A private student loan is a nonfederal loan, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.

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    A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school to help pay your education expenses. Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

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    Since 1944, the GI Bill® has helped millions of Veterans pay for college, graduate school, and training programs. Under this bill, qualifying Veterans and their family members can get money to cover all or some of the costs for school or training. Learn more about these benefits below—and how to apply for them.

    If you served on active duty after September 10, 2001, you may qualify for Post-9/11 GI Bill® education benefits.

    The GI Bill® Comparison Tool and Veterans Service Organizations can help you explore options and find out what benefits you can get.


    AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs like increasing academic achievement, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, sustaining national parks, preparing for disasters, and more. A program of national and community service that can help put you through college.


    Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 authorizes states to create two types of college savings programs – prepaid tuition plans and college savings plans. Alabama was the third state in the nation to implement a prepaid college tuition program when the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) Program began operating in March 1990.

    PACT is based on a simple concept – pay today for tomorrow’s tuition. The program allows parents and grandparents to purchase a contract to prepay future undergraduate college tuition and qualified fees for a child or loved one. The contract provides payment for 135 semester hours of tuition and 8 semesters of qualified fee payments at any Alabama public college or university. The contract can also be used at private or out-of-state institutions. PACT will pay the average tuition of Alabama’s public four-year institutions to any private or out-of-state institution. To date, the PACT Program has over 53,500 active accounts and has paid out over $100 million in tuition and qualified fee payments to various colleges and universities. This year, over 12,000 students are eligible to use PACT benefits.

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