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What is Financial Aid?

Grants, scholarships and loans provide you money to help pay for college. These financial aid programs require that you qualify to receive them. Qualifications vary for the programs.

Here is a list of financial aid types provided by the federal government.

Grants and Scholarships

Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid if you complete the enrollment you were paid to attend.

Pell Grant

Pell Grants are awarded to

  • undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree.
  • students enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program and taking 6 or more credits of approved education units per term.

Pell Grants are considered the foundation of federal financial aid. Eligibility is determined by the information gathered on the FAFSA. Awards are prorated depending on level of need as determined by the Department of Education. Award amounts will also vary depending on the number of credits the recipient is enrolled in.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

This program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell-eligible students with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for a SEOG. Funds are limited. Complete your FAFSA early!

Leveraging Education Aid Partnership Grant (LEAP)

This program is funded through contributions from Arizona and PCC. It is for Pell-eligible students with demonstrated financial need. Funds are limited. Complete your FAFSA early!

Arizona Higher Education

A number of state grants are available to students each year.

Pima Community College

Pima scholarships and grants are available to students. Funds are limited.


Unlike grants, which do not have to be paid back if you complete the courses you were paid to attend, loan funds must be paid back with interest, regardless of course completion. You do not have to pay back the loan until you complete your education or cease attending at least half time, whichever occurs first.

Loans made by the federal government have much better rates and payback terms than loans from a private institution such as a bank.

Federal Direct Loans

  • Subsidized: The federal government pays the interest on the loan while you are attending school. Funds for your loan will come from the Department of Education.
  • Unsubsidized: Loans accrue interest while you are in school. The interest rates on these loans differ from subsidized loans and may be different for each aid year that you borrow. Funds for your loan will come from the Department of Education.

Eligibility rules are similar under both programs, but amounts that you can borrow and repayment plans differ.


Your parents can take out a FPLUS loan to help pay your education expenses if you are a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time in an eligible program at an eligible school.

FPLUS Loans are available through the Federal Direct Loan Program. Your parents must have an acceptable credit history, as determined at the time they apply for the loan.

If you are interested in an FPLUS loan, your parents must first apply for a FPLUS loan. If the loan is approved, you must complete and submit the PLUS Loan Request form.

Perkins Loan

Perkins loans are no longer offered.  Students who are in repayment for a Perkins loan should contact the Department of Education directly.