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Federal Financial Aid Programs

The Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant Program awards grants to eligible undergraduate students as determined by a formula used by the Department of Education. An undergraduate student is defined as one who has not received a bachelor's degree or a professional degree in any area. Graduate students are ineligible for this grant. Pell grant recipients are subject to a lifetime maximum of 12 semesters or its equivalent. The calculation of the duration of a student’s eligibility will include all years and terms the student received the Federal Pell Grant.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program awards grants to eligible undergraduate students. Awards are dependent on the availability of funds. Graduate students are ineligible for this type of grant.

The Federal College Work Study Program (FCWS)
Provides students with part-time employment on or off campus. In order to be eligible for work study, the following guidelines are applicable to all students:

1) must be enrolled at South Carolina State University
2) must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
3) must be capable of doing acceptable work

In order for a student to find out if he or she qualifies, the student, along with a supervisor of his or her choosing, must complete the Federal Work Study Recommendation form located within the Office of Financial Aid (Suite 150, Crawford Zimmerman). Participation in the Federal College Work Study Program is determined by a student’s financial need. Earnings received from the Federal College Work Study Program are not applied directly to the tuition’s billing account but are used at the student’s discretion to cover educational costs.

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program
A Federal Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized) is a low interest loan made to students. Stafford loans are available to graduate and undergraduate students. At least half-time attendance (6 credit hours per semester) is required in order to be eligible.

Subsidized loans are awarded to students on the basis of financial need. The federal government pays the borrower’s accrued interest during certain periods, such as when the student is in school, thereby “subsidizing” these loans. 

Unsubsidized loans are not need based; the borrower is responsible for accrued interest throughout the life of the loan.

Before you borrow, please remember that loans must be repaid. Consider carefully how much you will need to borrow and the burden your loans will impose after you leave school.

The Federal Perkins Loan Program
The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides low interest rate loans to eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Awards are dependent upon the availability of funds. This is a loan and it must be repaid.

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
The Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students is for parents of dependent students; students must be enrolled at least half time. The PLUS and is always unsubsidized and is a loan that must be repaid.

Graduate Plus Loan

The Graduate PLUS Loan ("Grad PLUS") is a loan for graduate and professional students only, and it is applied as a supplement to the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Unlike the Stafford Loan, the Grad PLUS Loan requires a credit check. The approval process is generally less rigorous than private student loans. Students who are declined for a Grad PLUS Loan, based on adverse credit history, may still secure approval through an endorser.


The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Additional information can be found on the Federal Student Aid website or in the Office of Financial Aid. Students who fail to complete the four-year teaching obligation will have to repay the grant with interest.

Veterans Benefits
These benefits include aid for veterans and their dependents under the GI Bill. Contact Veterans Services in the South Carolina State University Veterans Affairs Office.

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
The student should contact the Vocational Rehabilitation Office nearest his/her hometown.