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Financial Assistance for the Unemployed University News
Anyone currently unemployed who is interested in attending college may be eligible for financial assistance from the federal government. Assistance ranges from grants and loans to work-study programs.

Eligibility for some assistance, such as Pell Grants and work-study programs, is need-based and is determined by total household income. Federal student loans are available regardless of income level. Other criteria for such assistance include (1) being a U.S. citizen, (2) having a high school diploma or GED equivalency, and (3) not being in default on any other student loan. Students must also meet regular admissions criteria.

In May 2009 the federal government made an additional $17 billion in Pell Grant money available in hopes that many unemployed Americans would take advantage of educational and training opportunities. Pell Grants are available only to students who have not already earned a bachelor’s degree. Because Pell Grant assistance is need-based, amounts vary by individual and are only determined after submission of a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2009-2010 academic year is $5,350. Federally-funded student loans vary in amount and are available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

“Many people are having a difficult time finding work right now,” said Dr. Shirley Raines, president of the University of Memphis. “We want them to know that financial assistance is available should they desire to return to school.”

Applications for both the FAFSA and financial aid are available from the University of Memphis at financialaid.memphis.edu. More information about federal financial aid is also available online at www.opportunity.gov and www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov.


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Last Updated: 10/8/12