Types of Financial Aid

There are basically 3 types of need-based aid: grants, loans, and work-study. Below is a brief description of each of these types of money.

Pell Grant:

  • Maximum for 2009-2010 was $5,500
  • Need based for undergraduates only
  • If your EFC is 0 you will receive the maximum Pell Grant.  


  • This grant is for undergraduates only.
  • The amount is usually $100-4,000. 
  • It is need based and awarded by school (at WCU only $1,200).

NC Student Incentive Grant:

  • Only for those with EFC of 0.
  • Must apply ASAP, by Feb 15 or sooner.
  • Max is $700.

UNC Need Based Grant:  

  • Need based with an EFC of less than 5,000. 
  • Public schools only. 
  • Award is from $100- $3,800 as determined by the institution.

NC Legislative Grant: 

  • Amount varies. 
  • For Private schools only. 

NC Lottery Scholarship:  

  • Need based with an EFC of less than 5,000.
  • Has a floor of $3,400 combined with the PELL.

Federal Work-Study:

  • Campus jobs for undergraduates pay minimum wage. 
  • These are need based. 
  • Does not have to be repaid.

Federal Stafford Loan:

  • First year undergraduate maximum $3,500
  • Increases to maximum of $5,500
  • Interest rate does not exceed 8.25%. 
  • Repayment begins 6 months after graduation. 
  • If you qualify for subsidized loan, the government pays the interest while you are in school, during the 6-month“grace period”, and during any deferment periods.  You are responsible for paying all of the interest that accrues on an unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

Federal PLUS Loans:  

  • These Loans are made to parents; (not to exceed 9%). 
  • Maximum is based on your ability to repay. 
  • Repayment begins immediately.

Perkins Loans: 

  • Low interest (5%) loans
  • Max loan for undergraduate student $4,000
  • These are need based
  • Max loan for graduate student $6,000

Other sources:

Internet Guide to 529 Plans

Hope Tax credit:

  • Maximum per year $1,500
  • First 2 years of college or vocational school you can recieve a 100% tax credit for the first $1,000 of tuition & fees and 50% credit on your second $1,000 in tuition & fees.

National & Community Service:

  • A maximum of $4,725 per year can be earn by working for Americorps before, during or after college.
  • For more info go to americorps.gov

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