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Types of Aid

What types of gift aid are available?

Students who have need under federal methodology may qualify for Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. In addition, Wake Forest offers many need based scholarships from its own funds and gifts provided by individual and corporate donors. The State of North Carolina provides grants to students whose parents’ primary domicile is in North Carolina. Beginning in 2012-13, those grants will be limited to students with need.

What types of need-based loans are available?

Federal Perkins Loans: Loans of up to $4,000 per year are offered to students who demonstrate need under federal eligibility. Perkins Loans currently have an interest rate of 5%. There are no origination or insurance fees, and no interest accrues during enrollment or in periods of deferment. Repayment starts nine months after graduation or when a student withdraws from school and continues for up to ten years.

Subsidized Federal Direct Loans: Undergraduate students with federal eligibility may also qualify for Subsidized Federal Direct Loans of up to $3,500 for freshmen, $4,500 for sophomores, and $5,500 for juniors and seniors. New loans disbursed between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, have a fixed interest rate of 4.66%. The federal government pays the interest during enrollment and periods of deferment. Repayment begins six months after graduation or withdrawal from school and continues for up to ten years. (Federal Direct Loans made from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014 were not eligible for subsidized interest benefits during the six-month grace period after a student graduates or falls below half-time enrollment. Interest will accrue during the grace period and will be capitalized if unpaid by the borrower.)

Institutional Loans: Wake Forest also offers a number of need-based loans that are awarded at the discretion of the Office of Student Financial Aid. Annual awards range up to $4,000 and have a fixed interest rate of 5%, with terms similar to the Federal Perkins Loan.

Discover Undergraduate Loans for Wake Forest Students: A Discover Undergraduate Loan may be recommended by the Wake Forest University Office of Student Financial Aid to help fund the documented need of some students. If the loan is approved by the lender (Discover), the in-school interest will be paid by Wake Forest. Discover Student Loans will bill Wake Forest for the interest due, while the student is enrolled at least half-time as an undergraduate degree candidate at Wake Forest.

What is the difference between a Subsidized Federal Direct Loan and an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan?

The Subsidized Federal Direct Loan is awarded on the basis of need according to federal eligibility standards. Interest on this loan does not accrue while the student remains in school. If the total costs of education are not met by other forms of financial aid, any student, regardless of need, can qualify for an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan by completing the FAFSA. Interest on an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan accrues while the student attends college.

Do I have to accept all of the loans offered in my award letter? If I refuse a loan, will it affect the grant portion of my award?

You can choose to reduce the amount of the loan or refuse all of it and still keep the grant portion of your award. Wake Forest is not obligated to increase the grant portion of the award to compensate for any reduction in loans you elect to make.

Since loans are a part of most financial aid packages, how much debt does the average Wake Forest student incur over the course of four years?

For 2014 graduates, the average cumulative need-based indebtedness for Wake Forest student borrowers was $26,633. (This figure does not include alternative non-need-based loans, which replace some portion of the Expected Family Contribution.)

What is Federal Work-Study?

As part of their financial aid package, students with federal eligibility may be offered an opportunity to work to earn money to cover educational expenses. Earnings are limited to the amount awarded in the aid package. Typically, Wake Forest students work about ten hours per week with hourly pay rates of $7.25. Earnings are paid directly to the student as the work is performed and are not credited to the student’s account. Students generally use their earnings to cover personal expenses and books.

Where should outside scholarship information be sent?

Outside scholarship donors should include the name and social security number of the intended recipient, as well as the term(s) for which the scholarship is intended, on the face of the check. Checks should be made payable to Wake Forest University (or co-payable to Wake Forest University and the student) and sent to the Office of Student Financial Aid, PO Box 7246, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7246.