About Student Aid Alliance

We are a coalition of 85 higher education organizations united in our support for federal student aid. The Student Aid Alliance is thrilled to bring you the Save Student Aid campaign to raise awareness about the importance of federal student aid for America’s future.

What We Support

Federal Pell Grant Program

Pell Grants are the largest student aid program and the foundation of federal student aid. Unlike student loans, they do not have to be repaid. They are awarded from the federal government to low-income students for undergraduate study at all colleges and universities.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)

SEOG grants, unlike student loans, do not have to be repaid. They are awarded to the neediest Pell Grant recipients at participating institutions. Colleges match federal funding to help low-income students borrow less and persist to completion.

Federal Work Study Program

FWS provides part-time jobs to help students work their way through college while building professional skills. Colleges and other employers match federal funding for jobs at participating institutions, local businesses, or in community service. Work study recipients are connected to the campus community, which helps them complete college on time.

TRIO Programs

TRIO programs help low-income, first-generation to college Americans enter college, graduate, and launch a career. The programs provide a pipeline of educational outreach and student support services from middle school through postgraduate study. The institution-based programs provide tutoring; personal, financial and career counseling; and special instruction in reading, writing, mathematics and study skills.


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) targets at-risk 7th grade cohorts and works with them through high school to prepare and apply for college. States and local partnerships receive federal funds to create programs.

Graduate Programs

The Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program supports increasing the quality of students who prepare for research and teaching. GAANN targets high-performing and high-need graduate students in areas of national competitiveness.

Student Loans

The William D. Ford Direct Loan Program (DL) uses Treasury funds to make loans to students to pay for college. Student borrowers must repay the federal government for their loans.

There are 3 types of loans under the Direct Loan program: Stafford loans, PLUS loans, and Consolidation loans.

Stafford loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized.

  • “Subsidized” means the federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is in school. Subsidized loans are only available to low-income students.
  • “Unsubsidized” means interest accrues on the loan while the student is in school. Unsubsidized loans are not based on need.

PLUS loans are unsubsidized and may be made up to the cost of education not covered by other aid to graduate/professional students and to the parents of dependent undergraduate students.

Consolidation loans are made to former students for the purpose of combining educational loans from various federal programs into a single loan.

Who We Are

Student Aid Alliance Members