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Types of Aid

Scholarships and Grants
Gift assistance refers to scholarships and grants that are non-repayable forms of financial aid. Some of these awards have grade point renewal criteria while others do not. The following are the various forms of need-based assistance available at Hope College:

HOPE GRANT AND THE RCA GRANT: This gift aid is based on demonstrated financial need. There is no required grade point average for the receipt of either grant. Eligibility is limited to full time students for a maximum of eight semesters. Both of these awards are renewable based on continued demonstrated financial need.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: This gift aid is based on demonstrated financial need plus a cumulative high school grade point average (gpa) of 3.0 at the time of admission to the college. This scholarship is available only to those students who are not already receiving other Hope sponsored merit awards. Eligibility is limited to full time students for a maximum of eight semesters. It is renewable based on continued demonstrated financial need.

FEDERAL PELL GRANT: This federal gift aid is based on exceptional financial need and the federal government selects the recipients. Recipients are limited to the equivalent of six (6) years of full time payments. This grant does not credit a student’s account until the Office of Financial Aid has received a valid electronic Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) from the federal FAFSA processor. This grant amount is prorated if a student enrolls less than full time.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG): This federal gift aid is awarded to those students who have demonstrated exceptional need. The federal government requires that priority in awarding these funds be given to those who are eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant.

FEDERAL TEACH GRANT: This federal gift aid is available for certain education majors who are interested in classroom teaching in a high need field at a low income school. Specified teaching service after graduation is required or the grant reverts to an unsubsidized Direct Loan. Students must fully understand the intricacies of this program before accepting the grant. For all of the specifics, click here.

MICHIGAN COMPETITIVE SCHOLARSHIP: This state gift aid for Michigan residents is based on a student’s financial need and ACT test score. Renewal in future years requires continued financial need and a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. The student must be enrolled full-time for maximum eligibility; however, students enrolled at least half-time (6-11 hours per semester) are eligible for a prorated award. There is a ten semester limit of eligibility and the award is limited to tuition costs. For more information about the Michigan Competitive Scholarship click here

MICHIGAN TUITION GRANT: This state gift aid for Michigan residents attending Michigan private colleges is based on a student’s financial need. The student must be enrolled full-time for maximum eligibility; however, students enrolled at least half-time (6-11 hours per semester) are eligible for a prorated award. There is a ten semester limit of eligibility under and the award is limited to tuition costs. For more information about the Michigan Tuition Grant click here

Loan Assistance based on need
Loans are a valuable resource for many students and their families in financing a college education. Loans allow you to postpone paying a portion of your educational costs while you are in school. Some loans are awarded on the basis of financial need and your repayment does not begin until after you graduate, withdraw from college, or drop below half time enrollment (less than six hours per semester).

FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN PROGRAM: These loan funds are awarded on the basis of financial need to students enrolled at least half time in a degree program. Students demonstrating the greatest financial need receive the highest priority. The federal government and former Hope students in repayment on the loan provide the funds for this program. No interest is charged while the student maintains at least half time enrollment status. Repayment of principal and interest begins nine months after the borrower ceases at least half time enrollment. Interest is then charged at 5 percent per year on the unpaid balance. Students may have up to ten years to repay this loan depending on the amount borrowed.

To receive a Perkins Loan, the student borrower must sign an electronic Perkins Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN). Educational Computer Systems, Inc. (ECSI) notifies borrowers via Hope email when the MPN is ready to sign. The loan does not credit a student’s account until an electronic note is submitted.

FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN (SUBSIDIZED): This loan is available to students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least half time.You are not charged interest while you remain enrolled at least half time or qualify for other deferments. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. An origination fee is deducted from the loan to help cover federal administrative costs. For detailed information about subsidized Federal Direct Loans including interest rates click here.

To receive a Federal Direct Loan first time borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is an open-ended loan note that can be used for your Direct Loans for up to 10 academic years at schools participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program. The electronic MPN site allows you to complete and sign an MPN on the web. First time borrowers also must complete Entrance Counseling to learn about your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower.

Student Employment based on need
FEDERAL WORK STUDY: This part time employment program is available to students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least half time. Federal work study funds never directly credit a student's account like other financial aid does. To use the award, students must obtain a part time campus job though the Student Employment Office. Employed students receive pay checks for hours worked every two weeks and can use all or part of their earnings to pay their bill (Contact Business Services to arrange payments.) Students who receive a Federal Work Study award but do not opt to work simply forfeit the earnings. For more information watch the Work Study Video.

Loan Assistance not based on need
These loans are available to you or your parents regardless of financial need and offer various interest and repayment options.

FEDERAL DIRECT LOAN (UNSUBSIDIZED). This loan is available to students who file a FAFSA and are enrolled at least half time. You are charged interest on the loan from the time it is fully disbursed until it is paid in full. You may choose to pay the interest while in school or postpone the interest payments and allow the interest to be capitalized. This means the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan upon entering repayment and subsequent interest is charged on the higher amount. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. An origination fee is deducted from the loan to help cover federal administrative costs. For more detailed information about Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans including the interest rate click here.

To receive a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan first time borrowers must sign a Master Promissory Note. The MPN is an open-ended loan note that can be used for up to 10 academic years at schools participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program. The electronic MPN site allows you to complete and sign an MPN on the web. First time borrowers also must complete Entrance Counseling to learn about your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower.

FEDERAL DIRECT PLUS LOAN PROGRAM: Under the Federal Direct PLUS Program, parents (or stepparents) of dependent students may borrow up to the full cost of their child's education minus other aid. Credit checks are required, and parents who have an adverse credit history (determined by federal credit regulation) may not be able to borrow under the PLUS program. Click here for the current fee and interest rate. You must file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov) to qualify for this loan. Click on each item for more information Direct PLUS Loans for Parents and/or Direct Loan Basics for Parents.

TO COMPLETE A PLUS APPLICATION, click here. Parents may request postponement of payments on the principal or both principal and interest while their student is enrolled at least half time and during the 6 month grace period after the student is not longer enrolled at least half time. Interest not paid accrues and is added to the loan balance.

The borrowing parent must sign a Master Promissory Note. The MPN is an open-ended promissory note that can be used for your PLUS your loans over multiple academic years at schools participating in the Federal Direct Loan Program. The electronic MPN site allows you to complete and sign an MPN on the web. You must have a federal PIN to sign.

PRIVATE EDUCATIONAL LOANS
Private educational loan programs are designed to provide assistance to families who do not typically qualify for gift aid and/or the subsidized Federal Direct Loan. They also can supplement a student's awarded financial aid when a family does not have sufficient resources to meet college costs. Other than the Federal PLUS program, borrowers apply directly to the lender, so it is important to clearly indicate the period for which you are applying (generally the academic year which is two semesters, or the separate summer period). You may apply through any private loan program you choose. Click here for more information.

Students should apply for need-based financial aid through the FAFSA for grants and lower cost loans before resorting to a private loan.

Be sure to understand the loan terms and benefits of each loan you may be considering. Most information is readily available on the lender website, but if you have further questions, contact the lender directly. It is extremely important that you are aware of all possible rates, fees, grace periods, repayment terms, and borrower benefits each lender may offer before you make a decision about borrowering.