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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 on GRCC's Youtube channel.

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

You can learn more about how to create your FSA ID Number and password on GRCC's Youtube channel.

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

If you're preparing for the 2023-2024 school year (Fall 2023, Winter 2024, and Summer 2024), you will complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA. The 2023-2024 FAFSA must be completed by June 30, 2024.

If you're preparing for the 2024-2025 school year (Fall 2024, Winter 2025, and Summer 2025), you will complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA. The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available later in December 2023. The 2024-2025 FAFSA must be completed by June 30, 2025.

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 2023-2024 is $7,395

Summer Pell: If you were full time both Fall and Winter semesters during the school year, you may still have Pell 2 eligibility for the Summer semester! Financial Aid staff will review student files to determine eligibility later in February.

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.

Students must be:

  • Pell eligible and have a Pell-eligible EFC.
  • 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)

FSEOG funds are awarded to students with exceptional financial need, and Pell Grant recipients have priority.

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

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

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is available for students who are not Pell eligible based on their Expected Family Contribution (EFC), but whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. At the time of the veteran's death, the student must have been under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time. The amount of the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is up to the maximum Pell award for the year, less the sequestration fee. More information on this grant.


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 2023-24 loan interest rate for Federal Direct loans is 5.50%, and the origination fee is 1.057%.

Subsidized Loans: The Direct Subsidized Loan enables you to borrow money for educational expenses if you have demonstrated financial need. 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.  Your award letter will give you directions on how to accept or decline student loan funds.  

Borrowing Limits and Yearly Maximums

Yearly Maximums:

Student Level
& Dependency Status
Maximum Subsidized and UnsubsidizedMaximum Subsidized
Dependent freshman$5,500$3,500
Dependent sophomore$6,500$4,500
Independent freshman$9,500$3,500
Independent sophomore$10,500$4,500

Lifetime Limits:

Student Level and Dependency StatusMaximum Subsidized and UnsubsidizedMaximum 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.

Office of the Ombudsman for Federal Student Aid

Have a question about Title IV federal student aid or one of the services the Department of Education provides? Contact one of the Department of Education's Customer Service Centers or Federal Student Aid Offices.

The Ombudsman Office is a final resource after individuals look for help through other customer service avenues. Before contacting the Ombudsman, borrowers concerned about student loans should contact their loan holder or visit our web site for further information. Current students should contact their financial aid office first.

When contacting the Ombudsman Office, be ready to:

  • Identify the problem and the reason behind it
  • Define expectations
  • Describe actions already taken to resolve the problem
  • Supply documentation to support your position

The  easiest way to contact the Ombudsman is to file an on-line assistance request thru Other contact options are:

FSA Ombudsman Group Contact Information

FSA Ombudsman Group 
U. S. Department of Education
Office of Federal Student Aid
P.O. Box 1854
Monticello, KY 42633

Phone: 1-877-557-2575
Website: (best used to initiate a case)
Office Hours: Please see FSAIC Hours of Operation

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

This program enables parents, who do not have an adverse 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.

The parent 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. Parents do not have to make any payments while the loan is deferred. However, interest will accrue on the loan during deferment. When making the request at, parents will have the option of requesting deferment.  

The 2023-2024 interest rate for Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans is 8.05% and the origination fee is 4.228%.

To apply: Log in to the Federal Student Aid website and select Parent Tab, select Apply for Parent 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.

6.6 Title IV Loan School Code of Conduct