Federal Student Aid

To qualify for any of these programs, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The federal government uses this form to determine your eligibility for:

  • Grants.
  • Scholarships.
  • Work-study.
  • Loans.

To learn more about the four things you need to know before you complete the FAFSA, you can check out the Financial Aid channel on GRCCtv on YouTube.

Before completing the FAFSA you, and parent if dependent, must create a FSA ID#.

You can learn more about how to create your FSA ID# and password on the Financial Aid channel on GRCCtv on YouTube.

Learn more about how to apply for the FAFSA or begin your FAFSA application today.

If you're preparing for the 2020-2021 school year (Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Summer 2021), you will complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA. The 2020-2021 FAFSA is available to complete October 1, 2019 - June 30, 2021.

If you're preparing for the 2021-2022 school year (Fall 2021, Winter 2022, and Summer 2022), you will complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA. The 2021-2022 FAFSA is available to complete October 1, 2020 - June 30, 2022.

Consortium Agreement

If you are attending two colleges at the same time, you may be eligible to apply for a consortium agreement.


Pell Grant

The information you provide on the FAFSA will determine your expected family contribution (EFC), which is used to determine your Pell Grant eligibility. 

After completing the FAFSA, you will receive a notification from the Financial Aid Office regarding your eligibility for the Pell Grant.

The maximum annual Pell Grant award for 2020-2021 is $6345.

Summer Pell: If you were fulltime both Fall and Winter semesters during the school year, you may still have Pell2 eligibility for the Summer semester! Financial Aid staff will review student files to determine eligibility later in February.

2020-2021 Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship

Under the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act, a Pell Grant-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year.

All Title IV aid awarded to such eligible students must be based on an EFC of zero without regard to the student’s calculated EFC. Thus, the student is eligible for the maximum Pell Grant for his or her enrollment status and cost of attendance. In addition, the student’s eligibility for Direct Loans and for Campus-Based aid must be based on an EFC of zero.

Eligibility requirements:

Students must be:

  • Pell eligible and have a Pell-eligible EFC (up to 5711 for the 2020-2021 award year),
  • Less than 24 years old or enrolled at in institution of higher education at the time of his/her parent’s/guardian’s death.

Definition of a Public Safety Officer for the purpose of this scholarship:

  • As defined in section 1204 of Title I of the Omnibus Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796b); or
  • A fire police officer, defined as an individual who is serving in accordance with State or local law as an officially recognized or designated member of a legally organized public safety agency and provides scene security or directs traffic in response to any fire drill, fire call, or other fire, rescue, or police emergency, or at a planned special event.

Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Priority of the FSEOG is given to students who qualify for the Pell Grant and awarded to students of exceptional financial need.

Complete your FAFSA early for this grant, as these funds are limited.

Awards for this grant range between $500 and $1000.


This program provides you with part-time employment (28 hours or less a week) for on-campus jobs, and some off-campus jobs with community organizations.

Work-study can reduce or eliminate your need for student loans.

To qualify you must complete the following steps:

  1. Enroll in at least six credit hours for Fall and Winter semesters (three credit hours when being considered for Summer semester work).
  2. Submit a FAFSA.
  3. Contact GRCC's Student Employment Services (SES) to complete a Work-study Request Form and review available job opportunities.

SES will notify the Financial Aid Office and request your eligibility for work-study to be determined.  


Student Loans

Federal Direct Loans

You must complete the FAFSA, be enrolled in a minimum of six credits, and meet all other financial aid eligibility requirements to be considered for Federal Direct Loans. The Federal Direct Loan program includes subsidized and unsubsidized student loans for educational expenses with different repayment options. The 2020-21 loan interest rate for Federal Direct loans is 2.75%, and the origination fee is 1.059%.

Subsidized Loans

The Direct Subsidized Loan enables a student with financial need to borrow money for educational expenses. Generally, interest does not accrue until six months after you graduate, withdraw from school or take fewer than six credit hours.

Unsubsidized Loans

The Direct Unsubsidized Loan enables you to borrow money for educational expenses regardless of financial need. You have the option to pay the interest on the loan while you are in college to avoid paying additional interest after you graduate.

Eligibility and Award Options

You are automatically considered for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans when you submit the FAFSA.

You can decline, reduce, or accept the loan amount you have been awarded through your GRCC Online Center.

Borrowing Limits

Yearly Maximums

Student Level
& Dependency Status

Maximum Subsidized and Unsubsidized

Maximum Subsidized

Dependent freshman



Dependent sophomore



Independent freshman



Independent sophomore




Lifetime Limits

Student Level and Dependency Status Maximum Subsidized and Unsubsidized Maximum Subsidized
Dependent Undergraduate $31,000 $23,000
Independent Undergraduate $57,500 $23,000


If you reach your lifetime loan limit, you cannot receive any more of that type of loan. If you exceed your limit, aid already disbursed will be returned to the federal government and you will be billed. You will have to find alternate ways to finance your education. Therefore it is to your advantage to borrow only what you need for educational expenses and to keep track of your cumulative debt. Financial Aid representatives are happy to work with you to find ways to minimize your borrowing.

Ombudsman for Students

The U.S. Department of Education provides an Office of the Ombudsman to help resolve loan disputes and problems. The following options are available for contacting the office: call toll free at (877) 557-2575, visit the website at https://studentaid.gov/feedback-center/ or write to: Office of the Ombudsman, Student Financial Assistance, U.S. Department of Education, Room 3012, ROB #3, 7th and D Streets, SW, Washington DC 20202-5144

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

This program enables parents, with good credit history, to borrow funds to help pay for the cost of their child's education. As a student, you must be dependent as defined by the federal government on the FAFSA, enrolled in at least six credit hours, and maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

Interest accrues beginning with the first disbursement. Repayment of principal and interest begins while the student is in college — within 60 days after the final loan disbursement is made for the period of enrollment for which the funds were borrowed.

You may request a deferment while your child is enrolled at least half time and for an additional six months after your child graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment. You don’t have to make any payments while your loan is deferred. However, interest will accrue on the loan during deferment. When making the request at studentloans.gov you will have the option of requesting deferment.  

The 2020-21 interest rate for Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans is 5.30% and the origination fee is $4.236%.

To apply

Log in to studentaid.gov and select "Request a Direct PLUS Loan."

Alternative or Private Student Loans

If you are considering alternative or private student loan, we encourage you to research multiple lenders because interest rates and loan repayment terms vary.

Unlike federal student loans, alternative or private loan borrowers may need an established credit record or a co-signer to be considered. 

We will certify your private loan applications, but we do not provide information about private lenders or have preferred lender arrangements.

Note: The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires that before a private educational lender may finalize a private education loan for a student in attendance at an institution of higher education, the private lender must obtain the signed, completed self-certification form. Most lenders will provide this form directly to you. If your lender does not, you can obtain a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form.


Title IV Loan School Code of Conduct 6.6