AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

Financial Aid: What Factors Impact Eligibility?

Many students don’t apply for financial aid because they think that they are too old or have kids already in college. Phil Olson, AIU’s Vice President of Financial Aid provided insight about financial aid eligibility in our recent Serious Talk Webinar Debunking the Myths of Financial Aid.

If age and the number of students in a household don’t limit your financial aid eligibility, then what does affect your ability to qualify for government assistance? There are no magic numbers, but there are three factors to consider.

Need. Most federal student financial aid is based on need. Assistance such as the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and the Federal Pell grants provide resources to the neediest students. Federal Direct Stafford Loans are also based on need.

WATCH: What Factors Impact Financial Aid Eligibility

Academic standing. Your grades can affect your ability to get financial aid, but only to a point. Having a perfect GPA will not get you more money from the federal government, but having very poor grades can prevent you from getting financial aid at all. In order to make sure that, if eligible, you qualify for financial aid from year to year, you must meet your school’s academic standards. If your grades fall, and you end up on academic probation, you could lose your federal financial aid eligibility. Be sure to review your school catalog. Each school may have defined different academic standards that a student must meet.

Level of education. Financial aid varies according to level of the degree you are pursuing: a certificate, an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree. There are annual and aggregate Federal Direct Stafford Loan limits. The limit for an undergraduate is lower than it is for a graduate student.

Looking for more resources? Download Our Financial Aid Guide >>