Financial aid is monetary assistance to help cover the cost of college tuition, room and board and other expenses.
Financial aid can consist of gift aid (grants or scholarships that do not need to be repaid), loans (borrowed money that must be paid back, usually with interest), and student employment (money earned by the student through a job to make college more affordable).
There are four main sources: the federal government, state governments, colleges and universities, and private organizations.
Federal Work Study provides part time employment for undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The work-study amount awarded is the maximum amount students can earn for the fall and spring semester. You are only paid for the hours you work. You are not required to earn the amount of your award and there is no penalty if you earn less.
Federal Work Study will not appear as an expected financial aid credit on your bill. Instead, employment earnings are paid directly to the student.
Student Federal Direct Loans
- Direct Subsidized – If you are offered a subsidized loan, it means that the federal government pays the interest that accrues on your loan while you are enrolled at least half-time. After you graduate, withdraw, or cease to be enrolled at least half-time, you are responsible for the interest and must begin to make payments after a 6-month grace period. Eligibility for the Subsidized Loan is determined based on financial need. Based on academic level, dependency status and amount of financial need, a student may be able to borrow up to the following amounts annually in a Direct Subsidized Loan*:
- 1st year: $3,500
- 2nd year: $4,500
- 3rd and 4th years: $5,500
* Scripps students entering in 2015-2016 and beyond will be packaged with the following loan amounts over their four years: 1st year $3,500, 2nd and 3rd Year: $4,500, 4th Year: $5,500. If you are interested in receiving the federal maximum, please contact our office.
- Direct Unsubsidized– This loan is available to students regardless of financial need. Unsubsidized means that you are responsible for the interest from the time the loan is disbursed. While you are enrolled at least half-time you may defer interest payments, but interest will accrue and be added to the principle amount of your loan. Repayment on the Unsubsidized Loan will begin six months after you graduate, withdraw, or cease to be enrolled at least half-time. To reduce the total cost of your loan, consider making in-school interest only payments. If you would like to make in-school interest payments, please contact your loan servicer. Please note, Scripps does not automatically package students with Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If you are interested in receiving this loan, please contact our office for instructions.
- Interest rates and fees for the Federal Direct Loan Program are determined by the US Department of Education and may change each year, please visit for more information.
- Students accepting federal loans must complete online Entrance Counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note prior to disbursement. Both of these tasks may be completed online at studentloans.gov
Student Institutional Loans
- Institutional loans are low interest, long term financing programs made directly by Scripps College with donated funds. Repayment of institutional loans will be made directly to the college through its loan service agency.
- Eligibility for institutional loans is limited. Interest rates and requirements vary based on the program.
- Institutional loans require a co-borrower, who is responsible for repaying the loan if the student borrower fails to do so. Generally, co-borrowers are US citizens or permanent residents. Students and co-borrowers must sign a promissory note prior to disbursement.
- All institutional loan borrowers are also required to complete loan exit counseling prior to graduation or before withdrawal or leave of absence.
- If you are interested in receiving an institutional loan, please contact our office so that we can determine if you are eligible.
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
- The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is a loan program administered by the federal government which allows parents (biological, adoptive and stepparents) without adverse credit to borrow money to assist with costs related to their student’s undergraduate expenses, regardless of a family’s financial need.
- Parent borrowers who fail to meet the Department of Education’s credit criteria may appeal or apply with a co-borrower who does meet the criteria.
- After completing the FAFSA, interested parents should log in to studentloans.gov to complete the application process. (Note: Applications will be available beginning April 15).
- Interest rates and fees for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan Program are determined by the US Department of Education and may change each year, please visit for more information.
- The borrower has the option of beginning repayment on the PLUS loan either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or to begin repayment six months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. Interest will accrue during periods of deferment.