Federal Aid

Pell Grant

The Pell Grant program provides Title IV grants to U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents and certain groups of eligible non-citizens who have not yet completed an undergraduate program. Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The duration of a student’s eligibility for Pell Grant is 12 semesters or its equivalent. The 12 semester life-time limit is the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding for the four-year Undergraduate Diploma. Attention transfer students: Pell Grant used at previous institutions count toward the six year Pell Grant, life-time limit.

Pell Grant amounts are based upon the expected family contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA and enrollment level.

William D. Ford Direct Loan

The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (DL) program provides a host of loans to students and parents of dependent undergraduate students directly from the U.S. Department of Education (ED).  Direct Loan is the source for Subsidized or Unsubsidized Direct Loans, PLUS and GradPLUS loans, and Consolidation loans. Detailed Direct Loan information and application is available here.

PLUS Loans

The PLUS Loan is available to parents of dependent, undergraduate students who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. Loan amounts range up to the Cost of Attendance, which includes non-billed expenses such as living expenses, books, supplies, travel, and miscellaneous personal expenses. Parents may apply for the PLUS loan after May of the upcoming academic year. Students are advised to use the subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loans, prior to a parent applying for the PLUS loan.


Graduate students are eligible for the GradPLUS loan. A student must have first applied for and accepted the annual maximum allowed for the Unsubsidized Direct Loan. To be eligible for the GradPLUS loan, ED must determine that the student does not have an adverse credit history. Eligible graduate students who have accepted their Direct Loan may borrow up to the Cost of Attendance. Repayment for the GradPLUS begins once the loan is fully disbursed (paid out). However, if you are enrolled your loans will be placed into deferment and for an additional six months until after you cease to be enrolled at least half-time. 

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest, long-term loans made to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents enrolled in graduate and undergraduate programs. Students must be enrolled at least half-time, complete the FAFSA, and satisfy all other Federal Title IV eligibility guidelines. 

The annual loan limits for Direct Subsidized loans and Direct Unsubsidized loans are based on academic levels as follows:

Dependent Undergraduate Students

Subsidized Stafford Loan

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan














Independent Undergraduate and Dependent Students Whose Parent Cannot Borrow a PLUS Loan

Subsidized Stafford

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan














Graduate and Professional Students

Subsidized Stafford

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan



Up to $20,500

Aggregate Loan Limits:

  • Undergraduate Dependent Students: $31,000 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)

For first time, Direct Loan borrowers on or after July 1, 2013 there is a maximum eligibility period of time that an undergraduate can receive Direct Subsidized loan. You may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150% of the published length of your program. This is called the “maximum eligibility period”. For example, if you are enrolled in a 4-year undergraduate program, the maximum period for which you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is 6 years (150% of 4 years = 6 years). For detailed information regarding “maximum eligibility period” and becoming responsible for paying interest on Direct Subsidized Loans, please click here.

Undergraduate Independent Students: $57,500 (no more than $23,000 of which can be subsidized)

  • Graduate and Professional Students: currently $138,500 (no more than $65,500 of which can be subsidized).

Minimum Enrollment Level for Title IV

For Direct Loans and PLUS loans, students must be enrolled at least half-time. The definition of half-time for Longy’s programs, for financial aid purposes, is as follows:


Minimum attempted credits per semester

Undergraduate Diploma


Master of Music Degree


Graduate Performance Diploma


Artist Diploma

Master of Art in Teaching




*Students must be enrolled full-time in these programs.

For the Pell Grant program (undergraduates only), a Pell eligible student’s expected family contribution (EFC) and enrollment level determines the award amount and will be based on the following:

Number of Credits

Enrollment Level







Return of Title IV Funds

Loans and grants issued by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) are classified by the federal government as Title IV funds; this includes Pell Grant, and William D. Ford Direct Loans: Subsidized/Unsubsidized loans, and PLUS/GradPLUS loans. 

If a student withdraws (officially or unofficially) after the start of classes and is receiving federal financial aid, a Return of Title IV calculation determines the type and amount of aid that is earned and the amount that must be returned to the ED.

The amount of Title IV aid that is earned is based on the percentage of the semester completed by the student. This percentage is computed by determining the total number of days the student attended in the semester (excluding breaks that are five or more consecutive days in length) and then dividing this number by the number of days in the semester. For example, if there are 106 days in the semester and a student withdraws after attending 30 days, the percentage of Title IV funds earned is 30/106 or 28.3%. After a student has attended more than 60% of the semester, that student is considered to have earned the aid awarded for the semester.

The Registrar is responsible for notifying the Office of Student Financial Assistance of a student’s official withdrawal date. If a student unofficially withdraws, the Registrar will examine the student’s situation and sets a withdrawal date if circumstances such as illness, accident, or grievous personal loss warrant it. If a student takes a Leave of Absence (see Leave of Absence detailed under Academic Policies) during any semester, the school is required to perform this Return of Title IV calculation. Longy will follow ED rules for all other unofficial withdrawals, and the mid-point of the semester shall be considered the withdrawal date.

The order in which Title IV funds are returned are first grants (Pell Grant), second Direct Loans (Unsubsidized Loan, Subsidized Loan), and finally PLUS loans.

Students who owe a balance after they withdraw will receive a bill from Longy. Until the bill is paid, students will not be able to register for classes or obtain copies of their academic transcripts.

A student who must return funds to the Department of Education as determined by this calculation must repay the funds to the school and/or to the U.S. Department of Education within the timeframe dictated by ED. If the student is required to return unearned funds, they have 45 days from the date of the bill to do one of the following: pay in full or make satisfactory repayment arrangements. If the student has not repaid or made satisfactory repayment arrangement within 45 days, the overpayment will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and referred for collection to the Department of Education.

Funds returned to the ED based on this calculation have no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges (see the Tuition and Fees section for details [link to top of financial aid page]). Students planning to withdraw may visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance for further information.

Post-Withdrawal Disbursement

A post-withdrawal disbursement of Federal Title IV aid occurs when the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student is greater than the amount of the Title IV aid disbursed for the semester. A student eligible for a post-withdrawal disbursement will receive written notification. Students have the right to accept or decline, some, or all, of the post-withdrawal disbursement that is being offered. Students are given 14 days from the date of the notification to respond. Students are encouraged to seriously consider whether it is beneficial to accept a post-withdrawal disbursement. If the Title IV disbursement is the result of a Federal Direct Loan, it must be repaid under the terms of the appropriate promissory note.  Also, any disbursement received from Title IV funds may reduce award eligibility for the corresponding award(s) at Longy or another college attended during the same award year. Any opportunity to keep loan debt at a minimum should be considered.

Repayment options:

  • Standard: monthly payments for 10 years.
  • Graduated: initial payments are lower and then increase gradually during the repayment period.
  • Income Sensitive: available through Direct Loans only, the monthly payment is based on the student's income.
  • Extended Repayment: allows for a longer repayment period.
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) available to FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan) and Direct Loan borrowers repaying loans on or after July 1, 2009. This will help borrowers keep their loan payments affordable with payment caps based on income and family size and could offer loan forgiveness after the repayment period.
  • Pay As You Earn: A ‘new borrower’ as of Oct. 1, 2007 who also received a Direct Loan disbursement on or after Oct. 1, 2011 and who has partial financial hardship (determined by ED) is eligible to use this repayment plan. A ‘new borrower’ means you have no outstanding balance on a Direct Loan or FFEL as of Oct. 1, 2007.

For more information on loan repayment plans, click here

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is available to federal student loan borrowers who work in certain types of ‘public service’ jobs. When you make each of those payments, you must be working at a qualifying public service organization. Qualifying employment is any employment with a federal, state, or local government agency, entity, or organization or a non-profit organization that has been designated as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). It will forgive remaining debt after 10 years of eligible employment and qualifying loans. During those years the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan can help keep your loan payments affordable.

Who can get Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PLSF)?

This program is for those with federal student loans who work in a wide range of “public service” jobs, including jobs in government and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. For more information, click here