Loans and Grants
There's a wealth of financial aid programs available to our students – and loans and grants are two of those options. Of course, there's a key difference in the two – loans are aid that must be repaid while grants are a form of aid that does not have to be repaid. (Be sure to visit our Financial Aid page for more information on loans.)
Review the list below to become familiar with the loans and grants that are available and learn about their requirements.
FEDERAL SUBSIDIZED STAFFORD LOAN
This program offers you long-term, low interest loans on the basis of financial need. You will not be charged any interest before you begin repayment while you are enrolled at least half-time or during authorized periods of deferment. The federal government "subsidizes" the interest during these periods. You receive a six-month grace period after graduation or if you are attending less than half-time before repayments begin.
Loans are available through Gwinnett Tech's participating lenders or the participating lender of your choice. First-time borrowers are required to attend an entrance interview offered by the school before funds will be released.
The interest rate on your loan could change each year of repayment but, by law, it will never exceed 8.25 percent. The interest rate is adjusted each year on July 1. You'll be notified of interest rate changes throughout the life of your loan.
FEDERAL UNSUBSIDIZED STAFFORD LOAN
An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. You'll be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized — that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount. You receive the same deferred payment benefit as a subsidized loan while maintaining enrollment of at least half-time. Interest compounds quarterly and is added to the principle balance. You may opt to pay the interest each quarter.
Find more information about Stafford Loans by visiting the Department of Education's Student Guide web site.
SERVICE CANCELABLE LOANS
This program provides service cancelable loan assistance to Georgia residents enrolled in approved career fields where personnel shortages exist. Funds for this program are extremely limited, so you are encouraged to complete your FAFSA early. Approved programs offered at Gwinnett Tech are Practical Nursing, Radiologic Technology and Respiratory Therapy Technology. Details about service cancelable loans are available at the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
GEORGIA HOPE GRANT AND SCHOLARSHIP
If you are a Georgia resident, you may be eligible for this program if you meet the educational requirements. Click here for details.
The HOPE Program pays a significant portion of your tuition and does not need to be repaid. Full-time enrollment is not a requirement. This program is not based on financial need. For more information, including an online application, visit the Georgia Student Finance Commission. (Exception: Eligibility for HOPE could depend on other forms of aid you receive.)
Georgia has funded a new, need-based, low interest Student Access Loan - Technical (SALT) for technical college students. SALT, which is administered through the Georgia Student Finance Authority, will be awarded in amounts between $300 and $3,000, depending on need. Click here for more information and eligibility information and visit the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
FEDERAL PELL GRANT
The Federal Pell Grant is available to you if you demonstrate financial need according to federal guidelines established by the Department of Education. A full Pell award is $5,550 for the 2012–13 award year (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013). This amount may change in future academic years. This award does not have to be repaid. The amount you get will depend on:
- your financial need,
- your cost of attendance,
- your status as a full-time or part-time student, and
- your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
Some requirements for the Pell Grant are:
- You may not have earned a baccalaureate degree
- You must be accepted into a diploma or associate's degree program (not a certificate)
For more information on the Federal Pell Grant, click here.
FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG)
You may be eligible for an SEOG in the amount of $250 to $750 per academic year if you can demonstrate exceptional financial need. SEOG funds are extremely limited, so students are strongly encouraged to complete their FAFSA early each year. This award does not have to be repaid. Some requirements for receiving the SEOG are:
- You may not have earned a baccalaureate degree
- You must be enrolled in a diploma or associate's degree program
- You must be attending a minimum of half-time
For more information on the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, click here.
LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL DEPENDENTS GRANT
This grant is available to children of Georgia law enforcement officers, fire fighters and prison guards who have been permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty. This award is $2,000 per academic year and does not need to be repaid. This grant is not based on financial need.