Federal and State financial aid help students pay for most kinds of education after high school. Federal financial aid includes Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grant), Federal College Work-Study, and Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Grants are awarded based on need and income and do not have to be repaid. The Stafford Subsidized Loan is also based on need and income, but must be repaid once the recipient graduates or withdraws from the university. However, payments do not have to begin until six months following graduation or if the student withdrawals or goes below half time at the school, during which time no interest is accrued.
The Stafford Unsubsidized loan accrues interest as soon as the student receives the loan and will continue to accrue the same interest percentage for the life of the loan. Like the Stafford Subsidized Loan, payments for the unsubsidized loan will not begin until six months after graduation, or if the student withdrawals or goes below half time at the university. Interest is set by the federal government. The recipient of all loans is responsible for making payments until the loan is fully repaid. Only undergraduates are available to receive Pell Grants, subsidized, and unsubsidized loans. Graduate or Professional students can only receive Unsubsidized loans. Financial Aid is available to assist those qualified students wishing to attend Bethesda, but not having the means to do so.
The primary responsibility for financing an education belongs to the student and his/her family. The Board of Trustees has made a major commitment to assisting all students by keeping tuition and fees at a low rate. Financial Aid at Bethesda is based upon need. Need is defined as the difference between the cost of attending Bethesda and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward the cost. The Federal "Free Application for Federal Student Aid" (FAFSA) is the form from which EFC is calculated. Bethesda does administer several Federal Title IV aid programs:
Federal Pell Grant: Federal Pell Grant is based upon financial need and cost of attendance that eligible for full-time students. The maximum Federal Pell Grant Award is $5,920 per year (2017-2018). Pell Grant is available to college students who have not previously earned a bachelor's degree.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunities Grant (SEOG): Awarded to Pell-eligible college students with exceptional demonstrated financial need. Priority is given to students with 0 (zero) EFC.
Federal Work-Study Program: Provides employment opportunities for students to assist them in earning the funds necessary to meet college expenses. The student normally works 10-15 units a week.
Federal Family Education Loan Program (Stafford Loan Program): Under this program, private lenders provided loans to students that were guaranteed by the federal government. These loans included Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, FFEL Plus Loan, and FFEL Consolidation Loans. Federal Student Loans under the FFEL Program are no longer made by private lenders. Instead, all new federal student loans come directly from the U.S Department of Education under the direct loan program.
Institutional funds are granted only to full-time students and all applicants must file a FAFSA.