G W i R E D - Where Student Life Lives
Financial Aid for New Undergraduates
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The Need Based Aid Package

New Students


The University strives to provide assistance to as many full-time students as possible but at times is unable to meet the full need of all students who are eligible for aid.  Institutional grants and scholarships are awarded only to full-time students working on their first undergraduate degree.  Half-time degree candidates may be eligible for the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work-Study and the Federal Direct Loan Program (Stafford and PLUS loans).  Furthermore, except as noted for Federal Pell, Federal SEOG, and Federal Perkins, the duration of aid is limited to ten consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment, or the number of credits sufficient to graduate.

The George Washington Guaranteed Grant

The GW Guaranteed Grant awarded at the time of admission to incoming students, can be used towards tuition expenses only. If a student is fortunate enough to receive outside tuition specific awards, such awards can be combined with the GW Guaranteed Grant up to the cost of tuition.  However, if tuition-specific outside resources combined with the GW Guaranteed Grant exceed tuition costs, the GW Guaranteed Grant will be adjusted. The GW Guaranteed Grant is part of the guaranteed aid program and is renewable for up to ten consecutive semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment, subject to the student making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

The Board of Trustees Scholarship

The Board of Trustees Scholarship (BOT) awarded at the time of admission to incoming students, is available to academically excellent students who also demonstrate eligibility for need based assistance according to GW’s policy. The Board of Trustees Scholarship can be used towards tuition expenses only. If a student is fortunate enough to receive outside tuition specific awards, such awards can be combined with the Board of Trustees Scholarship up to the cost of tuition. However, if tuition-specific outside resources combined with the Board of Trustees Scholarship exceed tuition costs, the Board of Trustees Scholarship will be adjusted. The Board of Trustees Scholarship is part of the guaranteed aid program and is renewable for up to ten consecutive semesters of full-time undergraduate enrollment, subject to the student making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

University Scholarships

Need-based tuition scholarships, including endowed awards, are available to academically excellent students who are working on their first undergraduate degree. We automatically consider all aid applicants for these awards annually and do not need any additional applications.

University and Alumni Award

Eligibility for University and Alumni Awards are evaluated annually and awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Renewal is contingent upon completion of at least 12 credit hours each semester, maintenance of a C (2.0) or better grade point average, reapplication by the published April deadline, and continued financial need.

Federal Pell Grants

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's expected family contribution (EFC), cost of attendance as determined by the institution; the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less. Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to determine the family EFC. The amount of the grant will depend on all of these factors, in accordance with a sliding annual award scale as put forth by the US Department of Education.

If you are an incoming student with an estimated package, the Federal Pell Grant award is the result of our preliminary analysis of what you may be eligible to receive under this program. To confirm this award, your Student Aid Report (SAR) will be compared to federal tax data. Your actual award may differ from the estimated amount after we complete this verification.

Renewal is contingent on maintaining a C (2.0) or better grade point average, reapplication, and continued financial need. Please note that Pell aid terminates upon receipt of the first bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, whichever comes first.

Federal Pell Grants will be awarded based on the student’s enrollment level and their Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The Scheduled Award is the maximum amount the student can receive during an award year, if in attendance full-time for a full academic year (typically Fall and Spring semesters). An annual award would be for a student with mixed enrollment in the academic year. The Federal Pell Grant award year is July 1 through the following June 30th. Incarcerated students and students who have been convicted of a drug offense are ineligible for Federal Pell Grants, per statutory requirements.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

In accordance with federal regulations, FSEOG is awarded to students with exceptional financial need, and priority is given to students with Federal Pell Grant eligibility. Renewal of the FSEOG is contingent upon maintaining a C (2.0) or better grade point average, application by the published April deadline, continued financial need, and Pell Grant eligibility.

Federal Perkins Loan Program

This loan is a 5%, fixed interest rate loan for students.  Although the program allows the student to borrow up to $27,500 for undergraduate studies, the actual amount awarded depends on the student's eligibility and the University’s available funding.

First time borrowers must sign a master promissory note electronically before this loan can be credited to your student account. In early August, information will be sent to you about accessing the note on-line. Renewal is contingent upon maintaining a C (2.0) or better grade point average, application by the published April deadline, continued financial need and annual funding levels.

Important information regarding this loan:

Grace Period:  You are entitled to a grace period of nine consecutive months following your separation from an institution of higher education. No payments are due during this period and no interest accrues.

Repayment Terms:  Repayment starts three months after the grace period ends and continues quarterly for up to 10 years, excluding periods of deferment.  You will receive a bill approximately 20 days before each due date.

Interest Rate:  Interest accrues at 5% simple interest on the unpaid balance.

Prepayment: You may prepay your loan at any time without penalty.

Deferment and Cancellation: Specific information about deferment and cancellation provisions is contained in the master promissory note.

Credit Bureau Reporting:  All Federal Perkins Loan disbursements must be reported to a credit bureau organization.

Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) provides funding for part-time jobs for undergraduates with financial need, allowing help with personal and educational expenses. The amount of the award depends on the application date, level of need, and funding levels. Renewal of work-study is dependent upon maintaining a C (2.0) or better grade point average on at least 12 credits per semester, annual application by the published April deadline, continued financial need, and the University’s funding level.

Work-study employment is no more than 20 hours a week; freshmen usually average 10. Your salary will be at least the current federal minimum wage, but may be higher depending on the type of work you do and the skills required.  This award is not credited to your student account; instead you receive a bi-weekly paycheck for the hours you worked during the previous weeks. (You must work the necessary number of hours to receive the maximum award). Also, please note that you cannot earn more money from your work-study job than the amount of your award.  The student should monitor his/her earnings throughout the year so as not to exceed the work-study allocation.

Work-study jobs can be on or off campus. If you work off campus, your employer is usually a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest. All jobs are on a first-come, first-serve basis. GW’s Career Center lists job openings and coordinates the paperwork for job placement. Visit the Career Center online at http://gwired.gwu.edu/career or call (202) 994-6495 for more information.

William D. Ford Direct Stafford Loan Program

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a guaranteed loan program through the federal government. Depending on a family's financial situation, a student's Federal Direct Stafford Loan will be either subsidized or unsubsidized. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) and maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to receive Federal Stafford loans.

Loans are offered as part of the award package. Students enrolled for the entire academic year (two semesters) will receive half of their loan proceeds at the beginning of the fall semester and half at the beginning of the spring semester. A disbursement notice will be sent to your GW email address when the loan funds have been received and applied to your student account.  If you do not have a GW email address the notification will be mailed to your current address, as reported on your admissions application.

Note:  Advise the Registrar’s Office of any address changes or make the changes yourself on the GWeb Information System at  my.gwu.edu.

Please visit the Loans section for more information.

First time borrowers, are required to complete a Master Promissory Note and entrance counseling. This can be done online here. Click the green Sign In button and use your FAFSA PIN to begin the process. If you experience any technical issues or have trouble completing the MPN online, call 800-4- FED-AID for assistance.

Note:  If you request that a paper copy of the MPN be sent to you for completion, there are more steps involved before your Direct Loan can be approved and disbursed, which may cause delays in receiving your loan funds.

Federal regulations also require all borrowers to complete exit loan counseling before they graduate, withdraw, or drop below half-time enrollment.

Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans

Based on the information you furnished on your financial aid forms, our office will determine your eligibility for the subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. Students must be enrolled at least half-time to qualify for this loan.  Annual borrowing limits, listed below are based on need-based eligibility, dependency status and class year. The cumulative borrowing limit for subsidized Stafford is $23,000.

For the period from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, the fixed interest rate for a Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan is 3.86%. (Note:  Final Interest Rates will be announced in July 2014 for the 2014-2015 Academic Year.)  Interest on a subsidized loan is paid by the federal government while you are in school or in an approved deferment status. In addition to interest, for the 2013-2014 Academic Year, all Federal Direct Loans have a 1.051% origination fee.

Repayment of principal and interest begins six months after you leave school or drop below half- time enrollment status.

Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

This program provides loans to students enrolled at least half-time who may not qualify for maximum subsidized Stafford loan amounts.  Need is not a factor.  For the period from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, the fixed interest rate is 5.41%. (Note:  Final Interest Rates will be announced in July 2014 for the 2014-2015 Academic Year.)  Fees, loan limits, and other program parameters are the same as the subsidized Stafford Loan.

Unlike the subsidized Stafford, the student must pay all interest on the loan, and interest payments begin within 60 days of disbursement.  You can choose to pay the interest during your in-school period or you can allow it to accumulate and it will be capitalized (added to the principal amount of your loan). Repayment of the principal begins six months after you graduate or drop below half- time enrollment.

Loan Amounts

Eligibility is based on dependency status as well as financial information.

Grade Level (credits)

Annual Limits

Base Amount*

Additional Unsubsidized

Total (Indep)

Dependent Students

Independent Students

Freshmen (0-29)

$3,500

$2,000

$6,000

$5,500 ($9,500)

Sophomores (30-59)

$4,500

$2,000

$6,000

$6,500 ($10,500)

Juniors (60-89)

$5,500

$2,000

$7,000

$7,500 ($12,500)

Seniors (90+)

$5,500

$2,000

$7,000

$7,500 ($12,500)


* Students who do not qualify for need based assistance may be offered all or portion of their Base Amount in an Unsubsidized loan.

Dependent undergraduate students whose parents are denied the PLUS loan because of adverse credit are also eligible to apply for the additional unsubsidized amounts. Please note that these are maximums and not every student will be eligible for the maximum loan amount, see your award letter for the amount you were awarded.

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