Grants and Federal Loans


Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants provide funding to help eligible students without a bachelor's degree pay for their education. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back.

For the July 2013 through June 2014 award year, the maximum award possible is $5,645.
The actual amount of each student's Pell award is based on the cost of education, the number of hours enrolled and the Federal Pell Grant program regulations. Although not everyone qualifies for this need-based grant, all students should apply.

Applying for a Pell Grant is automatic when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filing a FAFSA is necessary for most types of financial aid and it can be done most efficiently online. For additional information please see the U.S. Department of Education's website on Federal Pell Grants.

Federal Student Loan Programs

UMA students and their parents are eligible to apply for Direct Stafford and PLUS Loans. Under the Direct Loan Program, the funds for your loan are offered to you by the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal Subsidized Direct Loan

These are low-interest loans currently offered with repayment at a fixed rate of 3.86%. The interest is "subsidized" or paid by the federal government while the student is in school.

For each academic year, dependent  and independent students may be eligible to borrow up to $3,500 as freshmen, $4,500 as sophomores and $5,500 for all other undergraduate levels. The subsidized loan is need based and eligibility will depend on the federal need analysis of the information supplied on your FAFSA. The actual amount of a Federal Direct subsidized loan will be affected by several factors.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan

Most students eligible to participate in Federal Student Aid qualify for the unsubsidized loan. With the unsubsidized loan, 3.86% interest is charged to you from the time you use the funding on your ledger card - the government doesn't pay the interest while you're in school. The interest may be paid while in school and during the grace period, or may be added to the principal of the loan (capitalized). If additional funds are needed beyond these base amounts, parents of dependent students may borrow through the PLUS program.

Stafford Loan Interest Rate Comparison Chart

Year Subsidized Stafford Unsubsidized Stafford
2008-09 6.00% 6.80%
2009-10 5.60% 6.80%
2010-11 4.50% 6.80%
2011-12 3.40% 6.80%
2012-13 3.40% 6.80%
2013-14 3.86% 3.86%

The Financial Aid Award Year begins July 1, 2013 and ends June 30, 2014.

For additional information on the Federal Loans please see the U.S. Department of Education's website on Federal Loans.

Federal PLUS Loans (Parental Loan for Undergraduate Students)

Either parent of a dependent student may borrow up to the student's unmet costs (cost minus aid). Federal PLUS loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.41%. A credit check will be done on the parent to establish creditworthiness. Loan funds are sent to the school to be applied to the student's account. Parent borrowers begin repayment within 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed. Deferment options may be available.

For additional information on the Federal Loans please see the U.S. Department of Education's website on Parent Plus Loans

Call now to set an appointment with a student finance advisor: 1-888-212-5421 or email us your documents at