Types of Aid

Federal Government Funded Financial Aid Programs

Required Actions Description
Federal Pell Grant FAFSA required to determine eligibility including Verification and any other FAFSA related To-Do items in my.smu (Selective Service, Citizenship, SSN mismatches, etc.).
  • Need-based grant for undergraduate students only.
  • Eligibility determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA
  • For 2018-2019, EFC (Expected Family Contribution) cannot be greater than $5486. For 2019-2020, EFC cannot be greater than $5576

  • Depending on EFC, awards vary between $652 - $6095 in 2019-2019, and $657 - $6195 in 2019-2020
  • Beginning July 1, 2012, students are limited to 6 years of Pell eligibility, or the full time equivalent of six years for those attending less than full time.


      Year-Round Pell

      Beginning with 2017-2018, students are no longer limited to 2 semesters worth of Pell.

      A student can receive up to one semester’s worth of additional Pell for Summer terms as long as they are enrolled at least 6 hours (“half-time”).

      For example, a Pell recipient who is enrolled Full-time in Fall and Full-time in Spring is eligible for additional Pell in Summer, as long as they are at least half time (additional eligibility extends up to Full Time enrollment in Summer.


      Fall ‘18

      Spring ‘19

      Summer ‘19

      Full-Time

      Full-Time

      Full-Time

      $3048

      $3047

      $3047


      • Summer I and Summer II enrollment can be combined, so for example: 3 hours in Summer I and 3 hours in Summer II counts as 6 hours for Summer.
      • Additional Pell can be used for Study Abroad courses as long as student is enrolled in at least 6 hours.
      • Please ask your financial aid advisor if you have any questions about eligibility.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) FAFSA required to determine eligibility.
  • Need-based
  • Must be Pell eligible
  • Award may be up to $2,000
  • Limited funding
Federal Work-Study FAFSA required to determine eligibility
  • Need-based
  • Award may be up to $4,000
  • Eligibility is not a guarantee of employment
  • An opportunity for employment but not an obligation to work

  • Funds do not disburse to student account but are paid directly to the student as earned wages upon employment
  •  

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan FAFSA required to determine eligibility.
  • Need-based
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program
  • Students accepting a Direct Loan for the first time must complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before funds can disburse to the University.
  • Fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Interest rate set yearly on July 1st. Click here for additional information.
  • up to $3,500 for students with less than 30 hours completed
  • up to $4,500 for students with between 30 and 59 hours completed
  • up to $5,500 for students with over 59 hours completed
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan FAFSA required
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program
  • Students accepting a Direct Loan for the first time must complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note before funds can disburse to the University
  • Fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Interest rate set yearly on July 1st. Click here for additional information
Federal Direct Parent Loan (PLUS) FAFSA required
  • Parents are the borrowers of the Federal Parent PLUS loan - not the student
  • Eligibility is based upon creditworthiness
  • May apply for up to the Cost of Attendance minus any aid student is receiving
  • Fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Interest rate set yearly on July 1st. Click here for additional information
  • If Federal Direct Plus Loan is denied click here for additional information on how to proceed