There is a lot to know about federal aid. It is awarded based on the yearly FAFSA application that comes out on October 1st. There are yearly limits, lifetime maximums, enrollment minimums, course completion requirements, and Satisfactory Academic Progress criteria for eligibility. We encourage students to read the basic overview below and utilize the resources on our other pages to better understand how federal aid works.

Federal Pell Grant

  • A need-based grant from the federal government intended for high need undergraduate students seeking their first bachelor’s degree.
  • After the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is filed, the Department of Education sends you a Student Aid Report (SAR) or an Information Acknowledgement if you filed online. These documents will indicate if you are Pell eligible and it is important to review them for accuracy.
  • Based on the Congressional approval of year round Pell, students may now receive up to 150% of their Pell eligibility in a single year. You may be eligible to receive a fulltime Pell Grant for all 4 terms of the academic year. Terms in which a student is attending less than halftime (fewer than 6 credit hours) may not be counted towards this additional eligibility.
  • Students may receive the Pell grant for a maximum of 18 terms/12 semesters. Utilizing year round Pell will use this lifetime eliglbity more quickly.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

  • A need-based grant from the federal government intended for high need undergraduate students seeking their first bachelor’s degree.
  • Administered by the OSU Office of Financial Aid. Funds are limited and eligibility is based in part by meeting the OSU priority FAFSA submission deadline of February 28.

Federal College Work-Study Program

  • Federal College Work-Study Program (FWS) program helps provide part-time jobs for students with financial need to help them pay for their education.
  • The program is administered by the OSU Office of Financial Aid. Funds are limited and eligibility is based on need and in part by meeting the OSU priority FAFSA submission deadline of February 28.
  • Being awarded FWS funds allows you to apply for jobs that specifically have the Work-Study designation. If you are awarded FWS and secure a Work-Study job, you will be paid monthly for hours worked.
  • The amount of FWS indicated on your award is the maximum amount you may earn for the academic year. Funds are paid monthly on the basis of hours worked in the pay period not to exceed 20 hours per week.
  • Students not awarded FWS may still apply for jobs both on and off campus.

Please review our Work-Study Page for more detailed information

Federal Loan Basics

  • Federal Student Loans are aid that must be repaid.
  • You must file a FAFSA each year to receive a federal loan offer.
  • On Subsidized Loans, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you are attending school at least half time.
  • On Unsubsidized Loans, you are responsible for paying the interest during times of deferment.
  • Parent Plus and Graduate Plus loans require a credit check and separate application each year.
  • Minimum halftime enrollment is required each term to receive federal loans.
  • Find interest rate and origination fees for all federal loans online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates.
  • There are yearly, aggregate, and timeframe maximums for federal loans.
  • The Perkins Loan program has not been extended beyond the 2017-2018 aid year. Repayment and deferment options are handled by the OSU Business Affairs Student Loan Office. Please see our Perkins disclosure page if you have an existing Perkins loan.

Subsidized Federal Ford Direct Student Loan

  • Subsidized means the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you are attending school at least half time.
  • Awarded to undergraduate students with financial need.
  • The amount you are awarded is determined by your financial need and class rank.
  • If you have not received a Federal Ford Direct Loan at OSU in the past, you must complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note online at StudentLoans.gov.
  • Repayment begins 6 months after graduation or dropping below half time enrollment
  • Has yearly, aggregate, and timeframe limits.

Unsubsidized Federal Ford Direct Student Loan

  • Unsubsidized means you are responsible for paying the interest during times of deferment.
  • Awarded to undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The amount you are awarded is determined by your class rank and dependency status.
  • If you have not received a Federal Ford Direct Loan at OSU in the past, you must complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note online at StudentLoans.gov.
  • If you are a dependent student and your parent has been credit denied for the Parent Plus loan this year, you may submit a Student Loan Revision form to request an increase in the Ford Direct unsubsidized student loan.
  • Repayment begins 6 months after graduation or dropping below half time enrollment.
  • Has yearly and aggregate limits.

Parent PLUS Federal Loan

  • The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a credit based loan borrowed by the parent on behalf of a dependent undergraduate or post-bacc student for educational expenses.
  • Has no yearly or aggregate limits but amounts must fit into the expected cost of attendance.
  • The loan is unsubsidized meaning you are responsible for paying the interest during times of deferment.
  • The parent borrower must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at StudentLoans.gov
  • The credit check, run as part of the application, is only valid for 180 days. Do not complete the application more than 180 days before the start of the term, or before May of the respective year if attending summer term.

*For applicants who have been determined to have an adverse credit history, but qualify for a Direct Parent PLUS loan by documenting extenuating circumstances or obtaining an endorser must complete the PLUS Counseling and a new Master Promissory Note at StudentLoans.gov. Students can review their file status by logging into their MyOSU account.

**If a Parent Plus loan has been credit denied for this year, the student may submit a Student Loan Revision form to request an increase in the Ford Direct unsubsidized student loan.

***Although the Parent Plus Loans do not have yearly or aggregate maximums, they are only available to the credit approved parents of students who are undergraduate and considered dependent for FAFSA purposes. If a student is turning 24 or will otherwise be considered independent for a given aid year, the Parent Plus Loan option would not be available. Please review the FSA website for further information on dependency status.

Graduate PLUS Federal Loan

  • The Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan is a credit based loan borrowed by graduate students to assist with educational expenses.
  • Has no yearly or aggregate limits but amounts must fit into the expected cost of attendance.
  • The loan is unsubsidized meaning you are responsible for paying the interest during times of deferment.
  • You must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Application and Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling online at StudentLoans.gov.
  • The credit check, run as part of the application, is only valid for 180 days. Do not complete the application more than 180 days before the start of the term, or before May of the respective year if attending summer term.

*For applicants who have been determined to have an adverse credit history, but qualify for a Direct Graduate PLUS loan by documenting extenuating circumstances or obtaining an endorser must complete the PLUS Counseling and a new Master Promissory Note at StudentLoans.gov.

Dependent Undergraduate Ford Direct Student Loan Maximum Per Year:

  • $5,500 freshman ($3,500 of that may be subsidized if eligible)
  • $6,500 sophomore ($4,500 of that may be subsidized if eligible)
  • $7,500 junior/senior ($5,500 of that may be subsidized if eligible)

* If a Parent Plus loan has been credit denied for this year, the student may submit a Student Loan Revision form to request an increase in the Ford Direct unsubsidized student loan. The maximum increase is $4,000 for fresh/soph and $5,000 for jr/sr.

Dependent Undergraduate Ford Direct Student Loan Aggregate Maximum (Limit for all years combined):

  • $31,000 Ford Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Combined (no more than $23,000 of that may be subsidized)

* If a Parent Plus loan has been credit denied for this year, the student may submit a Student Loan Revision form to request an increase in the Ford Direct unsubsidized student loan. In this case the aggregate maximum increases to $57,500.

* The credit hour maximum timeframe (MTF) is an additional limitation beyond the federal aggregate aid maximums. More information about the MTF may be found on the Satisfactory Academic Progress section of our website.

* The Subsidized Federal Direct Ford Loan is need-based with the government paying the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled. Effective July 1, 2013 there will be a limit on the amount of time that a student is allowed to borrow subsidized loan funds which will be tied to their program length. Students that exceed 150% of their program length will no longer be eligible to receive subsidized loan funds, regardless of any extensions granted based on the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal process through the Office of Financial. Find more details on the federal loan webpage.

Independent Undergraduate Ford Direct Student Loan Maximum Per Year:

  • $9,500 freshman ($3,500 of that may be subsidized if eligible)
  • $10,500 sophomore ($4,500 of that may be subsidized if eligible)
  • $12,500 junior/senior ($5,500 of that may be subsidized if eligible)

Independent Undergraduate Ford Direct Student Loan Aggregate Maximum (Limit for all years combined):

  • $57,500 Ford Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans Combined (no more than $23,000 of that may be subsidized)

* The credit hour maximum timeframe (MTF) is an additional limitation beyond the federal aggregate aid maximums. More information about the MTF may be found on the Satisfactory Academic Progress section of our website.

* The Subsidized Federal Direct Ford Loan is need-based with the government paying the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled. Effective July 1, 2013 there will be a limit on the amount of time that a student is allowed to borrow subsidized loan funds which will be tied to their program length. Students that exceed 150% of their program length will no longer be eligible to receive subsidized loan funds, regardless of any extensions granted based on the Satisfactory Academic Progress appeal process through the Office of Financial Aid.

Graduate Ford Direct Loan Limits

Graduate Ford Direct Student Loan Maximum Per Year:

  • $20,500 (unless seeking certain medical or professional degrees)

Graduate Ford Direct Student Loan Aggregate Maximum (Limit for all years of undergraduate and graduate work combined):

  • $138,500 (unless seeking certain medical or professional degrees)

* The credit hour maximum timeframe (MTF) is an additional limitation beyond the federal aggregate aid maximums. More information about the MTF may be found on the Satisfactory Academic Progress section of our website.