Eligibility for most federal student aid is based on need. The amount of aid is determined by formulas that factor in family and individual income, and the cost of education.

  • Pell Grants target the neediest students, while the campus-based programs (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work-Study, and Perkins Loans) provide federal funds that allow colleges to design packages of assistance tailored to students’ individual needs, ensuring that the neediest students are provided with an aid package that enables them to complete their degree program.
  • Subsidized student loans give students from low- and middle-income families access to low-cost loan capital.
  • TRIO programs help low-income students who are the first in their families to attend college. Support services include counseling, tutoring, and mentoring.
  • GEAR UP works with entire cohorts of students from seventh grade through high school to prepare for college.
  • Graduate programs create incentives for bright students to enter fields that are critical but not necessarily lucrative.


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