Types of Financial Aid
Pell Grants are made available by the U.S. government. The maximum award for 2014-15 is $5,730. Pell Grants are awarded only to students who qualify according to strict rules of family income and assets. In general, lower income families are eligible to receive Pell Grants. About 33 percent of Trinity students are receiving Pell Grants in amounts that vary from $600 to $5,730.
SEOG Grants are awarded by Trinity, under strict federal government guidelines, to needy students. Preference is given to Pell recipients. The awarding process takes into consideration all other types of aid that a student is receiving. Amounts vary from $125 to $1,000.
Illinois MAP Grants are awarded by the state to needy Illinois students. Students from both low and middle income families are eligible to receive Monetary Award Program grants. Approximately 40 percent of all Trinity students who are Illinois residents receive MAP Grants. Amounts vary from $472 to $4,720.
Trinity Grants are awarded to students based on financial need. Trinity uses the FAFSA in determining eligibility for Trinity Grants. The awarding process takes into account eligibility for all other sources of direct aid including government, college scholarships, and outside scholarships, so students without access to other types of aid are often eligible for Trinity Grants. Canadian students should complete Financial Aid Form for Non-United States Citizens to determine eligibility. Amounts range from $500 to $13,000.
Through the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a high-need field at a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. To be eligible, students must complete the FAFSA (although they do not need to demonstrate need), be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching, and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or greater. For more details, click here.
Trinity offers many scholarships based on academic performance, leadership ability, athletics and other criteria.
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
Subsidized Stafford Loans are the most common government subsidized loans available to Trinity students. Amounts are limited. Freshmen are able to borrow a maximum of $3,500 per year, sophomores, $4,500 per year, and upperclassmen $5,500 per year. Stafford Loan eligibility is determined by the College based on the information provided in the FAFSA. No interest is charged on a Subsidized Stafford Loan for as long as the student remains in college. Six months after leaving school, repayment begins.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
These are non need-based loans provided by the federal government. The student is responsible for the interest that accrues while the student is in school. The student can choose to pay the interest accrued or defer the interest payments, in which case the interest will be added to the principal balance of the loan when repayment begins. Students who qualified for Subsidized Stafford loans are eligible for an additional $2,000 in Unsubsidized Loans. Students who did not qualify for Subsidized Stafford Loans are eligible to borrow $5,500 as freshmen, $6,500 as sophomores, and $7,500 as juniors and seniors. Additional Unsubsidized Loan funds are available to independent students or to students whose parents are denied a Parent PLUS Loan.
Federal Perkins Loan
Perkins Loans are available to students who have extreme financial need. Typically, students are offered Perkins Loans only if there is additional need after the maximum Stafford Loan has been offered. Perkins Loan amounts are usually $1,000 to $2,000. Students sign loan forms at Trinity. No interest is charged on a Perkins Loan as long as the student remains in college. Nine months after leaving school, the student will receive payment instructions from Trinity; at that point an interest rate of 5% is enforced.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
These loans are for parents of dependent students, and are available to those who need additional funds to help pay for college after all other aid possibilities have been exhausted. It is not necessary to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for PLUS loans. These loans are subject to interest immediately, and the borrower can choose to make interest-only payments while the student is enrolled in school.
Private or alternative loans are another option for individuals to fund their college education expenses. It is not necessary to demonstrate financial need to be eligible. Several different alternative loans are available, each with different characteristics. For detailed information, contact the lender. Students who do not meet an established income level will typically need a cosigner. Payment on alternative loans may begin immediately or may be deferred. Students must apply for the Stafford Loans before requesting an alternative loan.