Federal Student Aid Programs

Federal Student Aid (FSA) offers federal grant and loan programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education. CSU participates in the following grant and loan programs:

Federal Grant Programs

Pell Grant
A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell grants are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need and who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree. The maximum award for the 2020-2021 award year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) is $6345. The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Federal Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six year equivalent is 600%. Effective with the 2017-2018 award year, eligible students may be awarded up to one and one-half Federal Pell Grants (i.e. 150% of the student’s scheduled award) during a single award year. Therefore, a student may reach their 600% limit more quickly than the six year equivalent.

The Pell Grant amount awarded will depend on:

  • Financial need
  • Cost of Attendance
  • Enrollment Status

You may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.


Federal Direct Loans Program

Direct Loans, from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, are low-interest loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, trade, career or technical school. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools.

Direct Stafford Loans include the following types of loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loan - A federal loan awarded on the basis of the student's financial need and other specific eligibility requirements. The federal government does not charge interest on these loans while borrowers are enrolled at least half-time, during a six-month grace period, or during authorized periods of deferment.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans- A federal loan not based on the student's financial need, but students must also meet specific eligibility requirements. Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal).
  • Direct PLUS Loans - A federal loan that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program. Eligibility is credit based.