A financial aid award is made up of of several components which may include grants and/or scholarships, loan, and work. A student may accept or reject each component of the award. Brief descriptions of the programs available at St. John's are provided below.
St. John's Grants: Funds for these grants are provided by the college from its own resources. They are awarded on the basis of financial need as determined by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Much of the funding for St. John's grants is provided by endowment funds and annual gifts to the college. Recipients of these grants are asked to write a note of appreciation to the appropriate donor.
Federal Pell Grant: This grant program is funded by the Federal Government. Awards are based on eligibility as determined by the FAFSA. The family’s federal expected contribution must fall below a certain threshold to qualify for a Pell Grant.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG): The Federal Government allocates a limited amount of SEOG funds to the college. To be eligible to receive SEOG, a student must be receiving the Federal Pell Grant.
New Mexico State Incentive Grants: These grants were created to provide aid for undergraduate students with substantial financial need. This need-based award varies from $200 to $2,500 per year. Part-time students are eligible for pro-rated awards.
Maryland State Scholarships: Maryland residents must file the FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA by March 1 to be considered for various state scholarships (www.mhec.state.md.us).
Other State Scholarships. Residents of other states should check with their state higher education commission regarding eligibility and deadlines (www.ed.gov/Programs/bastmp/SHEA.htm).
Merit aid is offered at St. John’s College to those students who, based on their high school records, application essays, and other information, show academic promise for this distinctive education. The college awards generous merit scholarships of varying amounts, up to $23,000. There is no separate application process for merit aid—a student’s eligibility is determined as part of the application for admission and students are notified with a scholarship offer soon after their acceptance. Students will be considered for such scholarships regardless of their eligibility for need-based financial aid. Merit scholarships are granted for four years, provided the student makes satisfactory progress toward graduation.
Federal Work-Study (FWS): The Federal Work-Study program is a need-based financial aid program that provides jobs for students. The work-study award shown on the aid notice represents the maximum a student may earn under the program. It is based on 10 hours per week during the academic year. Students receive a paycheck every two weeks for the number of hours actually worked. This money can be used for books, personal, and other educational expenses. It is not applied directly to the tuition bill. Approximately 180 students are employed on each campus through the FWS program. If a student chooses not to work, or works less than ten hours a week, he or she must meet expenses from other resources. Work-study funds are limited and some students may be placed on a work-study wait list.
New Mexico Work-Study Program was created to provide funding for employment opportunities. The award varies depending upon the needs of the student and the availability of funds.
Off-Campus Employment and the Career Services Office: Many students work off campus in order to earn funds for educational expenses. We find that most students are able to work up to ten hours a week without that schedule interfering with their academic work. The Career Services Office helps students find employment in the community. It maintains listings for regular part-time jobs and for jobs one may take on a more sporadic basis, such as babysitting, house cleaning, gardening, tutoring, etc.
Federal Subsidized Direct Loan: This program enables a student to borrow funds from the Department of Education. The Funding Education Beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid describes the Federal Direct Loan program (www.direct.ed.gov). The basic terms of subsidized Direct Loans are as follows:
Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan: Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans are not based upon financial need. Consequently, these loans require borrowers to pay interest on their loans while in school. Dependent students may borrow up to $2,000 per year. Independent students may borrow up to $6000 per year (for freshmen and sophomores) or $7,000 per year (for juniors and seniors) on an unsubsidized basis in addition to their subsidized loan eligibility. The same origination fee applies that is listed for the subsidized loans. Interest is charged from the date of disbursement on unsubsidized loans. Payments may be deferred during enrollment but interest will accrue.
Federal Perkins Loans: This is a federally funded loan program for students who demonstrate high financial need. While the borrower is enrolled as at least a half-time student, no interest accrues and no payment is required. The student must sign a Promissory Note before funds are disbursed. Funds are disbursed in two installments, half each semester. Borrowers have a nine-month grace period after they leave school during which payments are deferred. During the payment period the student is charged 5% interest on the outstanding principal.
Scofield Loans (Annapolis Campus Only): This is an institutional loan program offered only at the Annapolis campus. It offers no-interest loans to students who have special financial needs which cannot be met through other sources, or who meet other criteria established by the college. Funds are disbursed half each semester. Repayment begins three months after graduation, and can be deferred for graduate study.
St. John’s College Loans (Santa Fe Campus Only): The loans are primarily available to International students. Funds are disbursed half each semester. Repayment begins six months after graduation and deferrable only while enrolled at St. John’s College.
Federal PLUS Loans: Parents may borrow up to the full cost of education through the Federal PLUS Loan Program. For loans borrowed after 7/01/15, the interest rate is fixed at 6.84%. Loans are available through the Department of Education. PLUS requires a credit history review, but no debt-to-income assessment. This program carries a 4.272% origination fee. The funds are disbursed in two installments. Interest accrues from the first date of disbursement, and repayment begins when the full loan has been disbursed. Deferment options may be available.
Other Private Loans: Many lenders offer private loans to supplement the family’s other resources. In general these programs have higher interest rates than the federal programs. Borrowers must be credit-worthy. Students may borrow private loans, but will require a credit-worthy co-signer. Interest begins to accrue on these loans when they are disbursed.
New Mexico residents accepted to the Santa Fe campus receive an additional $7,500 grant award ($30,000 over four years) beyond any need-based grant. This grant replaces self-help (loans and work study) for students who receive need-based awards or serves as a tuition discount for those not applying for financial aid. Since the New Mexico state lottery scholarship is not available for private colleges, St. John's has made institutional funds available in order to better and more fairly serve residents of our home state.
Check outside scholarship opportunities annually. Free scholarship searches are available on the web through www.fastweb.com or www.finaid.org. Students should report receipt of outside/private scholarships to the Financial Aid Office as early as possible. This may cause a change in the financial aid award.
Questions? Contact the Financial Aid office.