The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program are considered campus-based programs because they are administered directly by the college. How much aid a student receives depends on the student’s financial need, the amount of other aid the student will receive, and the availability of funds. Students must apply early in order to be considered for these funds. The priority deadline is May 1. When funds are no longer available, no more awards can be made that year.
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides jobs for graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. The FWS salary will be at least the current federal minimum wage, but it may be higher, depending on the type of work the student does and the skills required. The total FWS award depends on the availability of funds and the student’s level of need at the time of application.
Federal Perkins Loans
A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5 percent) loan for students with exceptional financial need. Federal Perkins Loans are made through Hunter College as the lender, although the loan is made with government funds. Students must repay this loan to Hunter College. The borrowing limit established by the U. S. Dept. of Education for eligible graduate students is $5,000 per year for each year of graduate/professional study.
The total amount graduate students can borrow is $30,000. (This amount includes any Federal Perkins Loans borrowed as an undergraduate). The actual amount of the loan is dependent on financial need and the availability of funds.
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan
The Federal Direct Loan Program, established by the Student Loan Reform Act of 1993, provides low-interest loans for students. Under the Direct Loan Program, the federal government makes loans directly to students through the college.
There are two kinds of direct loans available to graduate students:
Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. (See section on Financial Need.) If a student qualifies for a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest on the loan(s), hence “subsidizes” the loan, until repayment begins and during authorized periods of deferment thereafter.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. If a student qualifies for an unsubsidized loan, interest will be charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accumulate. If students allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized – that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and will increase the amount that has to be repaid. If the interest is paid as it accumulates, the student will have less to repay in the long run.
The U. S. Dept. of Education has established a borrowing limit of $20,500 each academic year for the Federal Direct Loan program, with no more than $8,500 of that amount in Subsidized Loan funds. A student may receive less than the yearly maximum amount if other financial aid is received. Total aid including loans may not exceed the cost of attendance.
The total outstanding debt from all Federal Direct and Federal Stafford Loans combined that a graduate or professional student may have is $138,500; no more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate debt limit includes any Federal Direct Loans and Federal Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study. Federal Direct Loans are not made to students enrolled in programs that are less than one third of an academic year in duration. For students whose Federal Direct Loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 1994, the interest rate is variable, but it will never exceed 8.25 percent. The interest rate is adjusted each year on July 1. Students will be notified of interest rate changes throughout the life of their loan.
Once a Federal Direct Loan is made, it is managed and collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Servicing Center. The toll-free telephone number is (800) 848-0979.