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.

Before completing the FAFSA you, and parent if dependent, must create a FSA ID#. View this video to learn how to create your FSA ID#. Learn more about how to apply for the FAFSA or begin your FAFSA application today.

For the 2019-2020 school year (Fall 2019, Winter 2020, and Summer 2020), you will complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA. The 2019-2020 FAFSA is available to complete form October 1, 2018 - June 30, 2020.

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.

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 2019-2020 is $6195.

New - Summer Pell. If you were full time, both fall and winter during the school year, you may still have Pell2 eligibility for the summer! Financial Aid staff will review student's files to determine eligibility later in February

NEW Grant - Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship

To qualify for this scholarship, a student must be Pell eligible and have a Pell eligible EFC (up to 5486 for the 2018-2019 award year and up to 5576  for 2019-2020 award year), and be less than 24 years of age or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent’s or guardian’s death. In subsequent award years, the student continues to be eligible for the scholarship, as long as the student has a Pell eligible EFC and continues to be an eligible student.

For further information, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

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 $1,000.


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.
  2. Submit a FAFSA.
  3. Contact GRCC's Student Employment Services (SES) to complete an application 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 2019-20 loan interest rate for Federal Direct loans is 4.53%, and the origination fee is 1.062%.

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.


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 Web site at feedback.studentaid.ed.gov 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 2019-20 interest rate for Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans is 7.08% and the origination fee is $4.248%.

To apply

Log in to studentloans.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