There is good news for college students using federal financial aid this year: Pell Grant maximums will increase as, for the first time in three years, student loan interest rates will decrease.
The maximum amount for Federal Pell Grants issued between July 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020, will rise to $6,195, an increase of $100 from the 2018-2019 rate. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students and are based on financial need.
Children of veterans who died as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11 may be eligible for the Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant. It is similar to a Pell Grant, but unlike a Pell Grant is not limited by family income.
Federal grants are free money for school. After your school bills are paid, any remaining balance goes to you. You can normally receive only one federal education grant per school year, but there are some special programs available for low-income families that will allow you to get more than one grant at a time. Learn more about Federal Student Aid.
Federal Student Loans
Federal student loan interest rates are also changing on July 1, 2019. The interest rate for new undergraduate loans issued on or after July 1 will drop from 5.05% to 4.53%. While that doesn't sound like much, the difference could be thousands of dollars over the normal lifetime of a student loan.
The interest rates for graduate loans will also drop from 6.60% to 6.08%, and PLUS loans (which are usually issued to the parents of a student or to graduate or professional students) will drop from 7.60% to 7.08%.
These interest rates are only for student loans issued on or after July 1, 2019. Loans that were issued prior to that date will keep their current interest rate no matter how much is still owed.
Make Your Military Service Count
While looking for money for school many spouses and their families overlook the more than $300 million of military and veteran-related scholarships and grants. These scholarships often go unclaimed.
Not applying for scholarships is like turning down free money.
Keep Up With Your Education Benefits
Whether you need a guide on how to use your GI Bill, want to take advantage of tuition assistance and scholarships, or get the lowdown on education benefits available for your family, Military.com can help. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to have education tips and benefits updates delivered directly to your inbox.