Federal Pell Grant

This federally funded grant is awarded to high-need students pursuing their first Baccalaureate degree. The amount of the award is prorated based on the student’s expected family contribution and enrollment status.  A student may receive a Federal Pell Grant up to 600% (the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters of enrollment).  The regulations are to provide fractional equivalents for terms in which a student is enrolled less than full-time.

The amount of Federal Pell Grant for which a student is eligible is determined using the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the corresponding cost of education from the Federal Pell Grant Eligibility Chart published by the Department of Education.  The maximum amount for academic year 2023-2024 is $7,395, and the maximum amount for academic year 2024-2025 will be determined by the U.S. Department of Education during the 2024 calendar year.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant  (FSEOG)

Student eligibility is determined only through the Central Processing System of the Department of Education using the Federal Methodology need analysis formula.  Students must meet the eligibility requirements for the federal Pell Grant and be awarded a Pell Grant.  In addition, the FSEOG is awarded only to first-time undergraduates who are Pell eligible.  TMU will award FSEOG funds to students with zero EFC’s first

The regulated maximum amount of FSEOG is $4,000 and the minimum is $100.  However, the OFA self-imposes minimum and maximum awards to ensure that the greatest number of students have an opportunity to receive a portion of the FSEOG allocation. The total FSEOG allocation (federal plus institutional share) is divided by the previous year’s number of zero EFC Pell eligible students to determine the current year’s award amount for full-time traditional students.  Students in the online program are awarded a lower prorated amount, because of the reduced costs of the program.

Federal Work Study Program

The Federal Work Study (FWS) program provides employment positions for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.  These earnings assist students with educational expenses.

The objectives and purpose of the FWS program are to provide:

  1. A source of financial aid to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need.
  2. Work experience which enhances the participant’s education whenever possible.
  3. An employment pool to the University, and to federal, state and local public agencies that would not exist otherwise.

Student Loan Providers

The Stafford Student Loans are processed through the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.  Federal loans available are: Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan (available to eligible parents). You can still choose a lender of your choice for a Private/Alternate Loan, if needed.

The Federal Direct Loan Programs

In general, a student must be enrolled at least half time as a regular student in an eligible program and must meet the school’s satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards to be eligible for a Federal Direct Student Loan or to benefit from a Federal Direct PLUS loan.  Two types of Federal Direct Student loans are available, subsidized and unsubsidized.  A subsidized loan qualifies for a federal interest subsidy during in-school status, grace periods, and authorized deferment periods.  An unsubsidized loan does not qualify for a federal interest subsidy during any period.  A student must qualify for a subsidized Federal Direct loan through the FAFSA process.  A student’s need for a subsidized Federal Direct loan is his or her cost of attendance minus his or her expected family contribution minus his or her estimated financial assistance.

In addition to the subsidized loan limits, dependent undergraduate students are able to borrow an additional $2,000 in unsubsidized loans.  Independent students are able to borrow additional loans under the unsubsidized loan program.  1st and 2nd year Independent students may borrow an additional $6,000.00 in unsubsidized loans and students in their 3rd year or above may borrow an additional $7,000 in unsubsidized loans per year.  Students whose parents were denied a PLUS loan may borrow an unsubsidized loan at the independent level.

Yearly loan limits for the Federal Direct Student Loan program

Dependent Undergraduate Students Subsidized Yearly Total
1st year students with 0-29 hours earned $3,500.00 $5,500.00
2nd year students with 30-59 hours earned $4,500.00 $6,500.00
3rd year+ students with 60+ hours earned $5,500.00 $7,500.00
Independent Undergraduate Students Subsidized Yearly Total
1st year students with 0-29 hours earned $3,500.00 $9,500.00
2nd year students with 30-59 hours earned $4,500.00 $10,500.00
3rd year+ students with 60+ hours earned $5,500.00 $12,500.00
Graduate level students Subsidized Yearly Total
Graduate students $0 $20,500.00

The lifetime Federal Direct loan limits for student borrowers

Subsidized Lifetime Total
Dependent undergraduate students $23,000.00 $31,000.00
Independent undergraduate students $23,000.00 $57,500.00
Graduate students $65,000.00** $138,500.00

** For subsidized loans received before July 1,2012.

Loan Entrance Counseling Sessions

Federal regulations require all students receiving a Federal Direct Subsidized or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan to participate in a loan entrance counseling session prior to receiving the first distribution of the loan.  No federal student loan can be disbursed until this requirement is met.  A student accepting a loan award for the first time at TMU can complete the loan entrance requirement by accessing the online counseling at https://studentaid.gov.  This will connect the student to the official loan entrance-counseling site where the required information will be covered.  The student will be asked to provide certain information, including reference addresses for future use.  The student may print a copy to retain for his/her records.  Students who have questions about loans or the loan entrance counseling information/process may contact the Financial Aid Office at 706.865.2134. ext. 4199.

Master Promissory Note

Federal regulations also require that each student sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) to receive Federal Direct Subsidized or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The MPN, in addition to the Loan Entrance Counseling, helps students understand the federal direct loan borrowing process. The student will need to complete the MPN at https://studentaid.gov/ using their FSA ID.

Loan Exit Counseling Requirements

The U.S. Department of Education requires all Stafford loan and/or Federal Direct student loan borrowers that drop below six (6) credit hours of enrollment to complete an Exit Interview.  This may be done by logging onto https://studentaid.gov/.   Failing to repay your Stafford loans can result in bad credit, garnished wages, and garnished tax refunds, which can prohibit the purchase of a home, car and in some instances obtaining employment.

Students may obtain information about their loans from the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov.  NSLDS is a repository of information from many sources and will contain the most current data available on student loans.  If a student wants to dispute their loan indebtedness, the student may contact the Financial Student Aid Ombudsman by e-mail at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/disputes/prepare/contact-ombudsman or by calling 1-877-557-2575 or in writing to U.S. Department of Education FSA Ombudsman, PO Box 1843, Monticello, KY 42633.

Postponing Loan Repayment (Forbearing and Deferment)

Under certain circumstances, a student may receive periods of deferment or forbearance that allow the student to postpone loan repayment. These periods do not count toward the length of time the student has to repay the student loan.  A student cannot obtain a deferment for a loan that is already in a defaulted status.

What is Deferment?

A deferment is a period of time during which no payments are required and interest does not accrue (accumulate), unless the student has an unsubsidized Stafford/Federal Direct Loan. In that case, the student must pay the interest. To qualify for a deferment, the student must meet specific eligibility requirements.

How do I qualify for Deferment?

The most common loan deferment conditions are enrollment in school at least half-time, inability to find full-time employment (for up to three years) and economic hardship (for up to three years).

Delivery of Federal Grants, Loans, and Institutional Funds

All loans, grants, and scholarship funds are provided to the student by crediting the student’s account.  Most funds will be credited to the student’s accounts no sooner than two weeks after the add/drop deadline of each semester.

Eligibility Requirements

Students applying for assistance from any federal program must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on a yearly basis.  In addition, students must meet general eligibility requirements which include:

  • U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen status;
  • Enrollment in a degree-seeking program;
  • Ability to benefit (being academically qualified);
  • Having earned a high school diploma or the GED or having passed an independently administered exam approved by the Department of Education. Truett McConnell does not offer a GED program.  Students should check with their local high school to obtain information on how to acquire their GED;
  • Making satisfactory academic progress;
  • Not being in default on a student loan or owing a grant overpayment;
  • Having a valid Social Security number;
  • Being registered with the Selective Service, at sss.gov, as required (males need to register by their 18th birthday).