Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree. To determine eligibility, the U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate the information reported on the FAFSA. The formula produces an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) used to determine Federal Pell Grant amounts. The result of the federal application is a Student Aid Report (SAR) which contains the EFC number and indicates Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Federal Pell Grants for the 2020-2021 award year will range from $639 to $6,345. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or professional degree, and do not have to be repaid. Students can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 full-time semesters or the equivalent.
A Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. These students have the lowest EFCs and are eligible for Federal Pell Grants. The college is awarded an FSEOG allocation each year from federal funds and eligibility is determined by the Financial Aid Office. Since funds are limited, not every eligible student will receive an FSEOG. The earlier an eligible student submits their FAFSA, the greatest their likelihood of receiving FSEOG.
Federal Direct Student Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. A subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. Subsidized loans will not accumulate any interest before or during the 6 months’ grace periods of deferment. The federal government subsidizes the interest during these periods. An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. Students are charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until paid in full. For undergraduate students, the interest rate for 2020-2021 is 2.75%. For graduate students, the interest rate for 2020-2021 for unsubsidized loans is . All subsidized and unsubsidized loans have a 1.059% origination fee for loans with a first disbursement made prior to October 1, 2020.
First time borrowers must complete a Federal Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling before the funds can be disbursed to the students account at www.studentloans.gov. All students must actively accept their federal loans every year to let the PSC Financial Aid Office know they want to borrow them. To accept loans and view other useful financial aid information, students must login to their PSC Financial Aid Portal. Borrowers must also complete exit counseling through the Federal Student Aid Website when they leave school, graduate, or drop below six-credit hours in any fall or spring semester.
Federal Direct Student Loan borrowers will be assigned to one of several loan servicers. The loan servicer will be in contact with the student shortly after the loan is disbursed. The loan servicer will provide regular updates on the status of the student’s federal loans. It is important for students to keep their loan servicer updated on any changes to their address, email, and/or phone numbers.
Limits on Direct Subsidized Loans
Students may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of their program. The published length on any program of study can be found in this catalog in the program description. For example, if a student is enrolled in a 4-year bachelor's degree program, the maximum period for which they can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150% of 4 years = 6 years). Students enrolled in a 2-year associate degree program can receive Direct Subsidized Loans for a maximum of 3 years (150% of 2 years = 3 years). Maximum eligibility is based on the published length of the student’s current academic major and will change if a student changes to a major with a different program length. Direct Subsidized Loans received prior to the degree change will count toward the new maximum eligibility period for the new program.
Federal PLUS Loans enable parents with no adverse credit history to borrow up to their dependent student’s cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. Parents pay an origination fee which is deducted proportionately each time a loan payment is made directly to the college. The origination fee is 4.248% to 4.236% for 2020-2021 academic year loans with a first disbursement made prior to October 1, 2020. The fixed interest rate for the 2020-2021 academic year is 7.08% to 5.30%. Repayment begins 60 days after the final loan disbursement for the academic year unless the parent requests a deferment. There is no grace period for PLUS loans. This means interest begins to accumulate at the time the first disbursement is made.
First time Federal Direct PLUS Loan borrowers must complete a Federal Master Promissory Note (MPN) on the Federal Student Aid website. Parents must complete a PSC PLUS Loan Request Form annually. If a parent is denied the PLUS loan, the student is allowed to borrow up to an additional $4,000 Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan during their freshman and sophomore academic years, and $5,000 during their junior and senior years during the academic year for which the parent was denied.
Federal PLUS Loans enable graduate students with no adverse credit history to borrow up to their cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. Graduate students should only consider borrowing the PLUS loan after borrowing the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan. Students pay an origination fee which is deducted proportionately each time a loan payment is made directly to the college. The origination fee is 4.236% for 2020-2021 academic year loans with a first disbursement made prior to October 1, 2020. The fixed interest rate for the 2020-2021 academic year is 5.30%. Repayment begins 60 days after students cease to be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school.
Students and parents also have the option to apply for a private student loan through a private bank, credit union, or state lending agency. Private loans are credit based and interest rates vary according to the applicant and cosigners credit history. Students are encouraged to compare multiple lenders before making a final decision. For additional information, visit PSC’s Elm Select website. Students should always borrow their federal student loans before considering a private student loan. The PSC Financial Aid Office may deny a student’s private alternative student loan if the student has not borrowed their maximum federal student loans.
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides part-time jobs for students who demonstrate financial need. PSC also offers a student employment program which is not based upon financial need. Student employees typically work 5 to 10 hours per week and are paid the current federal minimum wage on a semi-monthly basis. Eligibility for FWS is determined by the PSC Financial Aid Office. Students begin their job search with the College Student Placement Office where they obtain a Work-Study Authorization Form and a listing of job opportunities. Students are responsible for contacting potential employers and arranging interviews. The hiring decision is made by the person who listed the position. Since funds and job opportunities are limited, priority consideration is given to those applicants whose FAFSA information is available in the Financial Aid Office by the May 1st priority deadline. Work-Study is first-come, first serve. Work-Study is not deducted from a student’s bill; it is earned via a bimonthly paycheck.
Paul Smith's College is a veteran friendly campus. Our Veterans Information Website provides a number of links to important GI Bill® and Veteran Websites, scholarships, and other support information dedicated to serving those who served.
To begin using VA benefits at PSC, students must complete an online application with the VA. Once the application has been processed, the VA will mail the student a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) outlining details of their educational benefits. Students should provide the COE to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as it’s received. In order to be eligible for VA benefits, the student’s coursework must be degree-applicable to their declared major. Coursework that is recommended, or otherwise not applicable to their degree, cannot be certified. For this reason, students eligible for VA educational benefits are strongly recommended to meet with their academic advisor every semester.