Federal Aid Programs

The U.S. Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work-study funds, and loans to more than 13 million students. Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. Thousands of schools across the country participate in the federal student aid programs; ask the schools you’re interested in if they do!

Federal student aid includes:

Grants — financial aid that does not have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)

Loans — borrowed money for college or career school, which you must repay, with interest

Work-Study — a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school

Students are required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form for every year they are enrolled in school to stay eligible for federal student aid.

This grant is awarded to undergraduate students pursing their first undergraduate degree with financial need. Federal Pell Grant award amounts vary depending on the student’s enrollment. Initial Federal Pell Grant awards are based on projected full-time enrollment.  When a student does not begin attendance in all of his or her classes resulting in a change in the student’s enrollment, the Federal Pell Grant must be recalculated. There is a maximum lifetime period for which a student may receive a Federal Pell Grant, which is known as Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). The maximum lifetime limit for Federal Pell Grant is 12 full-time semesters or its equivalent measured by the percentage of the student’s scheduled award used or received each award year.

Effective with the 2024-25 award year, as part of the FAFSA Simplification Act, the Special Rule for Pell Grants replaces the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG) and the Children of Fallen Heroes (CFH) Scholarship with new or modified eligibility criteria for a student who is less than 33 years old as of the first January 1 of the FAFSA award year and whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while:

  1. Serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001 (i.e., IASG); or
  2. Actively serving as and performing the duties of a public safety officer (i.e., CFH).

Instead of an IASG or a CFH award, eligible students will receive a maximum Pell Grant regardless of their SAI (adjusted for enrollment intensity as needed). The Department of Defense is no longer able to provide confirmation that a service member killed in the line of duty meets the revised special eligibility criteria after the 2023-24 award year. Further, no comprehensive database exists to identify public safety officers killed in the line of duty. Therefore, students will self-identify and provide supporting documentation by completing the appropriate application for the Iraq and Afghanistan Application or Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Application.

This grant is awarded to Federal Pell Grant eligible undergraduate students based on financial need as determined by completion of a FAFSA each year. Priority SEOG awarding is given to Pell eligible students who have the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for the 2023-2024 academic year. Beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year, priority will be given to students with the lowest Student Aid Index (SAI). Due to limited funding availability, typically only Federal Pell Grant eligible students with a zero EFC or a -1500 SAI are awarded Federal SEOG.

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and 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 amount of any other student aid for which you might qualify may affect the amount of or the eligibility for Work-Study.

Students can view all available employment options on Handshake. The amount you earn can’t exceed your total Federal Work-Study award. When assigning work hours, your employer or your school’s financial aid office will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.

Students may not begin work until all hiring requirements have been met. This means the CU position must have been approved; students must complete the full Student Employment Application, either for new or returning student employment; meet with payroll in the Business Office; and be given permission to begin employment through the Business Office. With new payroll procedures in place via Kronos, it is very important that students and supervisors are trained in Kronos to ensure proper payment. Please keep in mind that students are paid by the hour, every 2 weeks but will be held back the first pay period; students are paid directly to their bank account.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans are federal loans available to degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at least half-time. Half-time at Concord University is defined as six credit hours for undergraduates and five credits for graduate students.

What additional steps must I take to receive my loan?
If your financial aid package includes federal student loans, you can view your awards, as well as the Terms and Conditions, on your MyConcordU account by following these steps:

  1. Log into your MyConcordU Account
  2. Click on Self Service under Tools
  3. Click on Financial Aid tab
  4. Click on Award
  5. Click on Award by Aid Year
  6. Select aid year
  7. Click on Accept Award Offer

If it is your first time receiving a Direct Loan, you MUST go to www.studentaid.gov to complete:

  • Entrance counseling, a tool to ensure you understand your obligation to repay the loan; and
  • Sign a Loan Agreement or (Master Promissory Note), agreeing to the terms of the loan.

Repayment of Student Loans

Repayment of all Federal Direct Loans typically begins six months after a student graduates, withdraws, or drops below 6 credit hours. This period of time is called a grace period. Students are granted one grace period. Students may have longer than six months if they are on active duty in the military.

We’ve partnered with Inceptia to answer all of your student loan repayment questions. Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program (NSLP), is a nonprofit organization providing expertise in higher education access, student loan repayment, analytics, default prevention, financial education and verification. Inceptia educates students on how to pay for college, guides borrowers through loan repayment counseling, and provides default prevention strategies and services to schools. You can reach an Inceptia counselor at 855-471-1614.

The studentaid.gov dashboard provides a centralized, integrated view of Title IV loans and grants so that recipients of Title IV Aid can access and inquire about their Title IV loans and/or grant data.