Federal Work-Study (FWS)
Federal Work-Study is a need-based award that allows students to work on campus. Receiving FWS on your financial aid award does not guarantee you a position. All student employment positions are paid Oregon minimum wage and limited to 20 hours per week. Students are paid monthly and can request (but are not required to) that their funds be applied directly to their Student Account. Open positions are posted on the Concordia website. To qualify you must be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen and have a current FAFSA on file with the Concordia Financial Aid office.
Grants (Federal, State, and Institutional)
Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid.
Federal TEACH Grant
The U.S Department of Education’s Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants to students who are completing or who plan to complete coursework that is required to begin a career in teaching, and who agree to teach full-time for at least four years: as a highly qualified teacher, at a school or educational service agency (ESA) servicing low-income students, and in a high-need field. It is important to note that if a student does not meet the federal requirements for the TEACH Grant, it will be turned into an unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the interest is assessed retroactively to the time the student received the funds. Prior to receiving TEACH Grant funds, students are required to complete TEACH Grant-specific entrance counseling and an Agreement to Serve (ATS).
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students (working on their first bachelor’s degree) who meet the eligibility requirements as determined by the FAFSA. Students are limited to receiving Pell Grants for a maximum of the equivalent of 12 semesters or six years of study. Federal Pell Grant funds cannot be received from more than one school at a time. Amounts are determined by the student’s enrollment status (full-time, part-time) and by the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This grant is limited and offered to traditional undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. Funding is very limited for this program. Typical awards range from $500 to $1500. These funds are renewed on an as available, first come-first serve, basis.
Federal Iraq/Afghan Service Grant
The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is provided to certain students whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11.
Oregon Opportunity Grant
This grant is for residents of Oregon who are working on their first undergraduate degree. Students selected are Pell Grant eligible, have high financial need, and must meet other criteria as administered by the Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC). Oregon students apply by simply completing the FAFSA. Grant funds are limited, and students interested in this grant should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1st. Read more information about this grant program.
Loans must be repaid. More information about the federal loan programs (including terms of repayment) can be found at www.studentloans.gov.
Subsidized Stafford Loans are limited only to undergraduate students who have financial need (and are otherwise eligible), and amounts are limited to the amount of demonstrated financial need or the student’s annual loan limit. The “subsidy” is provided by the federal government paying the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time, and for up to 150% of a student’s published length of program. Read more information about this program.
There is an origination fee of 1.066% taken from the loan prior to disbursement; this rate applies to loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018. The current interest rate for Subsidized Stafford loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 is 4.45% for undergraduate students.
Unsubsidized Stafford Loans are awarded to both undergraduate and graduate students to assist with educational expenses, but are not limited just to students with demonstrated financial need. The interest that accrues is not paid by the federal government and is the responsibility of the student during all periods. If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
There is an origination fee of 1.066% taken from the loan prior to disbursement. This rate applies to loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018. The current interest rates for Unsubsidized Stafford loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 are 4.45% for undergraduate students and 6.00% for graduate students.
Repayment is deferred on both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans while the student is enrolled at least half-time. Other provisions common to both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans include annual loan limits, aggregate loan limits, interest rates, and origination fees.
The Parent PLUS Loan for undergraduate students is a credit-based loan for parents of dependent undergraduate students. Parents can borrow for their student’s educational costs. Maximum eligibility is the cost of attendance less other financial aid. The origination fee taken out prior to disbursement is 4.264% for Parent PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018. The current interest rate for Parent PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 is 7.00%.
The Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit-based loan for graduate students. The maximum eligibility is the cost of attendance less other financial aid. The origination fee taken out prior to disbursement is 4.264% for Graduate PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after October 1, 2017 and before October 1, 2018. The current interest rate for Graduate PLUS loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017 and before July 1, 2018 is 7.00%.
Aggregate Loan Limit
The maximum (sum total outstanding) loan limit for Stafford loans for a dependent undergraduate is $31,000, for an independent undergraduate is $57,500, and for a graduate student is $138,500.
Repayment for PLUS Loans can be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time, though interest does begin to accrue immediately upon disbursement.
Entrance Counseling, Master Promissory Note, and Exit Counseling
Students are required to complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note in order to receive a Stafford Loan as a first-time borrower. Students are also required to complete Exit Counseling when they graduate or any time they drop below half-time enrollment status at the university. These can all be completed online.
Private and Alternative Loans
For some families, a gap will remain even after grants, scholarships, and federal student loans are applied to the student’s account. This “gap” is the difference between what financial aid can cover and what is needed to pay for college. In these cases, another option for some families is to apply for a private or alternative educational loan. These loans are credit-based (most undergraduate students will need a co-signer) and are processed through a private lender, then certified by the institution and disbursed to the student’s account just like other forms of financial aid.
Concordia University encourages all students and families to carefully research and compare the available options for financing their education before making a decision. One tool that is available to help families navigate this complex process is found HERE. This is a tool that can help compare options provided by reputable lenders. Families are not limited to the lenders listed here and are welcome to apply for private loans with whomever you prefer. Some points to research and compare:
- Interest rates: variable, fixed
- Origination fees
- Repayment terms
- Repayment benefits (interest rate reduction with auto-debit, co-signer release)
If you have questions about private loans or the process, please feel free to email our office or call 503-280-8514.