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Aid Programs ~ Federal Aid First!

Nearly all U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for federal financial aid regardless of family income! You may review federal aid eligibility requirements for more information. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students are able to see what types of federal aid they are eligible for. Federal aid is a superior financial option to private loans.

When you accept federal financial aid, your financial aid history is reported to the federal database called the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). For details about the information reported to NSLDS and who has access to view your information, you’ll find a separate disclosure statement here.

Grant – need-based financial aid which will not need to be repaid if student meets all of the conditions of the award.
Loan – money borrowed from federal, state, institution, or private lenders. Need-based loans are available. We encourage students to view loan repayment information and borrow responsibly.
Scholarship – assistance that does not need to be repaid if student meets all conditions.
Work-Study – need-based student employment program with many unexpected benefits.


Name Description
Pell Grant The most common of the federal grants, the Pell Grant is an entitlement grant based on financial need. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the end result of completing the FAFSA and is used as an index to determine eligibility for the Pell Grant. Only students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree may be awarded a Pell Grant.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) FSEOG is a federal grant available to a limited number of first undergraduate degree seeking students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Students automatically apply for this grant through completion of the FAFSA. To be eligible for an FSEOG award, a student must also be awarded a Pell Grant. Since funding is limited, students who submit their FAFSA by Boise State’s priority date have a greater chance of receiving the award.

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Name Description
Federal Student Loans Federal education loans consist of the Perkins loan, subsidized and unsubsidized federal direct loans, Parent PLUS loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and federal consolidated loans. Details about these loans are provided below.
Perkins Loan Low-interest loan (5%) available to high-need, Priority Aid Applicants. Interest is deferred for as long as the student is enrolled at least half time. Students majoring in teaching, nursing, and criminal justice may be able to have this loan forgiven after working in these careers. Repayment of loan begins 9 months after student is enrolled less than half time. More information is available regarding Perkins Loans.
Subsidized Federal Direct Loan Federally subsidized student loan offered directly by the U.S. Department of Education. Interest and payments are deferred while the student is enrolled at least half time.
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan Federal student loan where the student incurs interest even while enrolled in school. Payments on the principal amount are deferred, but student is encouraged to pay the interest at least quarterly. When a student does not pay the interest, it is “capitalized” meaning that it is added to the original loan amount. Student will then be charged interest on the interest.
Parent PLUS Loan A parent of a dependent student may request a federal Parent PLUS Loan to fill the gap between the student’s financial aid and the Cost of Attendance, as calculated by the Financial Aid Office. Boise State offers the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan through the U.S. Department of Education. To apply, visit, sign-in, and click “Request a Direct PLUS Loan”. Payments on the principal loan amount may be deferred for as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time. The parent does need to pay the interest monthly or quarterly during student’s enrollment. A credit check is required for this loan. If the parent is denied credit, the student may receive an additional unsubsidized loan if the parent will not use a cosigner/endorser on the loan. It is also possible for the parent to provide additional documentation to the Direct Loan Servicer to have the credit decision reconsidered.
Graduate PLUS Loan A federal loan to fill the gap between the Federal Direct Loans the graduate student receives and the “Cost of Attendance” as calculated by the Financial Aid Office. A credit check is required for this federal student loan. To apply, visit, sign-in, and click “Request a Direct PLUS Loan.”
Alternative Student Loans Private Lenders Loans provided by private lenders, such as banks. These loans require a credit check and may require a co-signer. Depending on the outcome of the student’s credit check, these loan tend to be more expensive. Alternative Student Loans may be used to fill the gap between federal aid and the Cost of Attendance, as calculated by the Financial Aid Office. Alternative loans are an option for students with situations for which federal aid is unavailable. Boise State does not endorse specific lenders. On the left is a link to all of the lenders used by Boise State students in recent academic years. Boise State will process loans from any alternative loan lender, regardless of whether they appear on the list provided.
Direct-to-Consumer Loans These are the most expensive of all the student education loans. These loans are marketed to prospective borrowers by direct mail, email, internet ads, and TV commercials. The leaders may even be the same ones that offer the Alternative Student Loans, yet the interest rates and loan terms will be different. These loans typically are not “certified” by the Financial Aid Office and can be for more than the Cost of Attendance. A borrower needs to be VERY cautious about pursuing these loans.

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Name Description
Merit-based Scholarships awarded without regard to financial need of the student. The merit criteria typically include GPA and ACT/SAT test scores. Leadership experience, civic involvement, and other extra-curricular activities may also be used to determine merit.
Need-based Nearly all scholarships are merit based. Need-based scholarships also consider the financial need of the student. These scholarships usually require the student to complete a FAFSA so the Expected Family Contribution can be used to determine the degree of financial need.

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Work-study is a financial aid award that provides the opportunity to work and earn a portion of the funds needed to cover your educational or living expenses. Students awarded work-study must find a job and apply through BroncoJobs. Once hired, students work to earn bi-weekly paychecks. The award amount offered to you represents the maximum amount you are eligible to earn in a work-study position.

Am I eligible for Work Study?

Work-study is an employment program based on financial need as determined by FAFSA. Funds are awarded as part of a student’s financial aid package. Students must meet the following criteria to be awarded Work Study:

  • Answer ‘Yes” to the FAFSA Question: “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?”
  • Submit the FAFSA by the priority date (February 15)
  • Enroll at least half-time for Perry Idaho Work Study awards (minimum of 6 Undergraduate credits)
  • Have demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA

Work-study funding is limited – if you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the Boise State Financial Aid Office to inquire about your award.

How do I get my work-study funding?

  • Work-study funding will not disburse to your student account to pay your fees
  • Students in a work-study eligible position with a work-study award will earn a paycheck every two weeks.
  • Work-study students may earn wages up to the amount offered in work-study funding. After that, you may discontinue working or your employer may choose to pay them from a different funding source.
  • Paycheck amounts vary based on wage offered by your employer and number of hours worked.
  • You must remain enrolled in a minimum of six credits each term to continue working in a work-study position.
  • Unused funds are unable to be carried over to the next academic year.

How do I find a job to use my work-study award?

  • You can apply your work-study award to any student job—log onto BroncoJobs to review all current student job listings.
  • You are encouraged to begin looking for on-campus employment as soon as you receive your work-study award and as jobs are posted. Many departments complete initial hiring by mid-to- late August for the year; however, student jobs will continue to be posted throughout the year.
  • If you have not found a student position by September 30th , your work-study award will be cancelled. If you find a job later and wish to utilize work-study funds, contact the Financial Aid Office and to inquire about award reinstatement. Reinstatement is dependent on available funding.
  • The Boise State Career Center can assist you with the job search process including using BroncoJobs, resume and cover letter assistance, and tips for improving your interviewing skills.

What are the benefits of work-study employment?

  • With work-study, you may apply for special jobs open only to students with a work-study award.
  • Work-study earnings are deducted from the student’s income on next year’s FAFSA. You could be eligible for more aid.
  • Campus employers make your education a priority and design work schedules around classes.
  • Your job is convenient – easier to get to work on-campus between classes.
  • Earn valuable work experience and build your resume with professional experience.
  • FICA tax is not deducted from earnings so take home pay is often more than a comparable off-campus wage.

Additional Details

  • Like any other financial aid award, work-study is an option rather than a requirement: you do not have to pursue employment, employment is not guaranteed, and there is no penalty for declining this part of your award package.
  • Work study jobs are limited to no more than 20 hours per week during school. However, a student can work up to 9 additional hours so long as the additional wages come from departmental funds.
  • Declining your work-study award may make you more eligible for education loans; or canceling subsidized loans may make you eligible for work-study funds. Contact our office to discuss your options.
  • Students are ineligible to work during regularly scheduled class hours.
  • View Financial Aid Dates and Deadlines for information about when students may begin working each year.

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