What Are the Types of Financial Aid?
The three types of financial aid fall into two basic categories: either gift aid or self-help aid. Like the name says, gift aid is assistance received that does not typically have to be repaid. Self-help aid includes work opportunities and loans, and is called self-help because the individual takes responsibility for receiving this type of aid.
- Grants and Scholarships: This is considered "gift aid" and does not need to be repaid. Eligibility is based on a student's financial need as determined by the FAFSA and CSS Profile. It is offered by the federal and some state governments as well as Franklin & Marshall College. Also, read the information on Outside Scholarships on this page.
- Loans: A loan is a type of “self-help” aid that lets you borrow money from the government, banks or other lending institutions. Since it’s “self-help” aid, it must be paid back with added interest. When considering loans to finance your education, we recommend exhausting all federal loan options before considering a private student loan. Federal Direct loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education and the FAFSA must be filed to be considered. There are three types: subsidized, unsubsidized, and parent PLUS. Loans can be awarded based on financial need (subsidized loans) or not on financial need (unsubsidized loans). Your loan eligibility will be determined after your grants, scholarships and Work-Study program(s) have been considered.
- Work-Study: Earned through on-campus employment, a Work-Study job is different from other jobs for the following two reasons: (1) the hours are flexible to ensure that you have enough time to study, and (2) when you apply for financial aid the following year, the money you earned through this program isn't used to determine your financial need. Work-study wages are NOT credited to a student's bill since this money must be earned.
Grants and Scholarships
State grants are awarded to the student by the state scholarship office of the state in which the student resides. Not all state scholarships can be used/transferred out of the student's home state.
If the Office of Financial Aid is notified of a student's eligibility for a state grant after the student has received their financial aid package, the F&M Trustee Grant will be reduced by the amount of the state grant and a revised financial aid notification will be sent to the student.
If a student who would have been eligible for a state grant, fails to meet their state grant deadline, the College will not replace forfeited state grant funds with F&M Trustee Grant funds.
F&M Institutional Grants & Endowed Scholarships
These are offered based on a student's financial need as determined by the CSS Profile. They have been made possible by the generosity of alumni, parents and friends of Franklin & Marshall College. Please see our Institutional Need-Based Aid Policy on this page.
Students are generally eligible to receive need-based College funds for a maximum of eight (8) semesters. Appeals for a ninth (9th) semester of campus funds are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Our largest fund, the F&M Trustee Grant, is offered to needy students to fill the gap between federal need-based aid funds and overall institutional need eligibility. The F&M Trustee grant would be revised to accommodate grant money a student may receive from the following programs:
- Federal Grant
- State Grant
- College Endowed Scholarship
- Employee Tuition Benefit
Federal Direct Loan FeesLoan fees are charged to originate a Federal Direct Student Loan and Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan and are calculated as a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fees are deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement. The loan fee is subtracted directly from the loan before it is disbursed to you. This means you will receive a smaller loan than the total amount that you actually borrowed, but you will still be responsible for repaying the entire amount that you borrowed. Learn more about loan fees.
Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is available to undergraduate students with financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while you’re in school at least half-time and for the first six months after you leave school.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to any student; there is no financial need requirement. Your school determines the amount you can borrow based on your cost of attendance and other aid you receive. You are responsible to pay interest; if you choose not to pay interest while you are in school, the interest will accumulate and be added to the principal amount of your loan.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is available to biological or adoptive parents of a full- or half-time undergraduate student. Parents can borrow for a full academic year, and a mid-June application is recommended. Principal and interest payments begin 45 days after the loan is disbursed.
PLUS Denial: Students whose parents are denied the PLUS can borrow a predetermined amount through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan program.
Private Student Loans
Private student loans — also known as alternative loans — are loans you acquire on your own outside of F&M. They should be your last consideration for financing your education.
Almost all private loan lenders now offer you the choice of fixed or variable interest rates as well as a variety of repayment plans. Private loans have become more difficult to obtain, and in most cases, you will require a creditworthy cosigner. If you do go this route, be sure that you and your cosigner fully understand the terms and conditions of the loan before signing the promissory note and accepting the loan offer.
For a list of private student or parent loans, Elm Select will provide you with a list of lenders most often used by F&M families. Select “Undergraduate” or “Parent Loans” on their website in the “Select Your Program” dropdown.
Please read the Student Lending Code of Conduct.
Federal Work-Study or College Work-Option
Students must have financial need as determined by the FAFSA and CSS Profile in order to qualify for Federal Work-Study or College Work Option.
Students earn a minimum of $8/hour and the vast majority of positions are not allowed to offer a student more than 10 hours a week and the exact number of hours varies significantly between positions.
The money earned through on-campus employment is intended to provide a student with spending money for personal expenses, not the direct costs of tuition, room and board. Therefore, work-study wages are NOT credited to a student's eBill.
Students offered Federal Work Study or College Work Option are not guaranteed positions. Students must still apply for positions on campus, be hired, and perform satisfactorily in the positions to acquire and maintain employment.
The Student Employment Office website provides more specific information about the Student Employment process.
Outside Scholarship Policy
Students are required to notify the Office of Financial Aid of all outside awards received, including awards paid directly to the student.
Email the Office of Financial Aid and include a copy of any correspondence from the scholarship donor. You should provide this information as soon as you become aware of the award.
Scholarship checks are to be mailed to:
Franklin & Marshall College
P.O. Box 3003
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003
Outside scholarships awarded to F&M students will benefit students to the greatest extent possible. Outside scholarship awards will be added on top of a student's financial aid award package, dollar by dollar, up to meeting full Federal aid eligibility - the maximum limit of all financial aid awards that a student may receive from any source. Should any outside scholarship dollars exceed a student's maximum Federal aid eligibility, the College will not reduce its own institutional grant aid that has already been awarded until total gift aid reaches the student's Cost of Attendance.
The College will first reduce the self-help portion (loans and/or job) of the need-based aid package that has already been awarded to the student. The order of the reduction will be Federal Work Study, F&M Loan, and Federal Direct Loan. After reducing all eligible, awarded self-help aid, any remaining outside scholarship amount in excess will not reduce Franklin & Marshall grant.
Institutional Need-Based Aid Policy
All admission applicants must apply for institutional need-based financial aid from Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) prior to acceptance to the College.
Therefore, as an admission applicant completing the Financial Aid Intent question on the Common or the Coalition Application, the response must be “YES,” in order to be considered for institutional need-based aid during the duration of their matriculation at the College.
Students may apply and will be considered for federal financial aid every year whether or not they applied for institutional need-based aid as a first-year or transfer student. Federal financial aid includes the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG, Federal Work-Study and the Federal Direct Loan Program.
Appeals due to changes in a family’s financial situation (such as loss of employment or additional child(ren) enrolling full-time in a four-year, undergraduate degree program), will be considered by the Office of Financial Aid. Parent(s) are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid to discuss their situation and to determine what documents must be submitted. The Office of Financial Aid makes every effort to provide additional support when extenuating circumstances occur, though funds may be limited.
Currently enrolled students who wish to request financial aid for the first time due to a change in financial circumstances must meet all filing deadlines. Aid consideration is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents and will be based on available funds and demonstrated institutional need.
Eight (8) Semester Limit - Students with demonstrated need can receive need-based institutional aid for up to eight (8) semesters as long as they remain in good academic standing and submit the required documents (FAFSA, CSS Profile, federal tax documents (tax return, all schedules, and all W-2s) by APRIL 1st.
Students are generally eligible to receive need-based institutional funds for a maximum of eight (8) semesters. Federal aid is still available past the eighth semester, but may not be sufficient to cover a student’s educational expenses. It is therefore in the student’s best interest financially to complete eight course units per academic year. Appeals for a ninth semester of campus funds are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Student Lending Code of Conduct
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of August 14, 2008, requires that campuses participating in federal Title IV student aid programs publish a code of conduct, serving as the formal guiding principles in ensuring the integrity of the student loan process and ensuring the ethical conduct of Franklin & Marshall employees in regard to student loan practices.
We participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program through the United States Department of Education. This program includes Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Direct Parent PLUS loans.
Private/Alternative Education loans are also processed for students at their request as needed.
We do not maintain a preferred lender list for private/alternative student loans nor do we recommend any private lender. Our office provides a historical list of private lenders our students have used on ELMSelect and the lenders are displayed in no particular order.
To avoid any conflict of interest with the responsibilities of our employees with respect to parent, student, and private/alternative loans, the Franklin & Marshall College Student Lending Code of Conduct prohibits the following:
Revenue sharing arrangement with any lender. We will not promote or recommend any lender in exchange for a fee or other material benefit from a lender.
The solicitation or acceptance of gifts from a lender, guarantor or servicer by anyone with responsibilities with respect to loans at the institution.
Refusing to certify/originate or otherwise delay certification/origination of any loan, regardless of the lender the borrower selects.
The acceptance of any funds to be used for private/alternative education loans in exchange for the institution providing concessions to the private lender.
Requesting or accepting assistance with financial aid office staffing from any lender.
Compensation of any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans
Compensation for service on an advisory board, commission, or group established by lenders or guarantors, except for reimbursement for reasonable expenses.