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Arizona Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Arizona offers a number of scholarships and financial aid to students attending their three public universities (Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and University of Arizona) and their large number of community colleges and private post-secondary institutions. Students seeking post-secondary degrees in Arizona may have the choice of federal and state financial aid, as well as scholarships from universities, colleges, and outside sources.

Questions about Arizona Scholarships and Financial Aid

As a new student or even as a current student whose circumstances have changed, you may have questions about Arizona scholarships and financial aid. This article may be able to answer questions such as the following:

  • Who qualifies for Arizona financial aid?
  • Does Arizona provide state financial aid?
  • What scholarships are available in Arizona?
  • Where can I take out a loan in Arizona?

Qualifying for Arizona Financial Aid

To qualify for Arizona financial aid, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the US who is attending an accredited two-year or four-year post-secondary institution. You also have to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The deadline for the FAFSA is always June 30 of the year in which you are using the aid. However, funds run out quickly, so students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. The FAFSA opens January 1 the year before the year in which you will use the aid. The Arizona state deadline for FAFSA is usually March 1st Central Daylight Time. Your school may also have a FAFSA deadline. You must meet all three deadlines in order to qualify for financial aid.

Some federal grants (PELL Grant) are awarded only on the basis of need. Need depends on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), which is the government’s best guess at how much you and your parents will contribute to your post-secondary education. Other grants are awarded depending on the program you plan to study. For example, if you are studying to be a certified teacher, you may qualify for the TEACH Grant, and if you are studying either a math or science field, you may qualify for a SMART Grant. The stateuniversity.com Guide to Federal Grants provides more information on federal grants.

State Financial Aid offered by Arizona

The state of Arizona offers financial aid to help Arizona students attain post-secondary degrees. Besides federal grants, Arizona financial aid packages include state grants. Here’s a list of the five available Arizona state grants:

Special Leveraging Educational Assistance Program
SLEAP was created to help supplement the funds of sophomore, junior, or senior students with financial need. To be eligible to receive the SLEAP grant, students must also be eligible to receive the PELL Grant. Students may receive a maximum amount of $2,000.

Arizona College Access Aid Program
ACAAP was designed to help students who are in their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year of school. Students must have financial need and qualify for the PELL Grant. Students are eligible to receive $2,000 at the most.

Early Graduation Scholarship Grant (EGSG) Program
The EGSG Program was created to support students who graduate early from high school and immediately enroll in a full-time program at an accredited post-secondary institution. Students who graduate a semester before his/her class are eligible to get $1,500 while students who graduate a year early are eligible to get $2,000.

Postsecondary Education Grant (PEG) Program
PEG was designed to support students attending private four-year universities in Arizona. Eligible students do not have to have financial need. Students may receive up to $2,000 a year for four years.

Arizona Private Postsecondary Education Student Assistance Program
PFAP was designed for financially needy community college students who will be attending private four-year universities in Arizona to complete their baccalaureate. The grant awards up to $2,000 a year. Students may renew the grant for up to two years.

Grants usually do not need to be paid back. However, if PFAP award recipients do not complete their degrees within three years and PEG award recipients do not complete their degrees within five years, the awards must be paid back to the state.

Scholarships Available to Arizona Students

Arizona scholarships are offered by individual universities and colleges. Your school may have a list of scholarships for which you qualify. Scholarships are supported by funds from universities or colleges, departments or schools, programs, and athletic departments. Scholarships are awarded based on scholastic achievement, need, volunteer/leadership commitment, and special ability. Most Arizona scholarships awarded on scholastic achievement are administered through the admissions office. This means if you turn in your application for admissions on time, you do not have to do anything else. Scholarships based on need, volunteer/leadership, and special ability may require a separate application. Check with your school’s financial aid and scholarship office to be sure.

Outside scholarships are also available to Arizona students. Scholarships do not have to be paid back, so if you are looking for more funding, you may want to pursue them before taking out loans. Here’s a list of just a few of the outside scholarships that are available to Arizona students:

Arizona Nursery Association (ANA) Scholarship Program
The ANA provides scholarships that range from $500 to $3,000 to potential horticulturalist students in post-secondary institutions. Applications are due April 15th every year. Click here for an application.

Community Foundation for Southern Arizona Scholarships
A number of scholarships are available from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to help students achieve their degrees. Applications are accepted in the fall.

Arizona Business and Professional Women’s Foundation
Several different scholarships are offered to female students 20 years old or more who are pursuing education to improve their careers. You can download an application here.

Arizona Press Club Scholarships
The Arizona Press Club is an organization of professionals in the field of journalism in the state of Arizona. Students interested in a career in journalism may qualify for scholarships in writing, photography, or design. Scholarships go up to $1,000. Please see the Arizona Press Club website for specific application instructions. Applications are usually due in April.

Financial Aid for Arizona Students: Taking Out a Loan

Taking out a loan should come as a last resort. If you do need loans, your Arizona financial aid package may also include federal loans. Loans are usually offered depending on unmet need. If your EFC qualifies you for a direct loan, you may borrow straight from the government. If your EFC doesn’t qualify you for direct loans, you may still borrow federal loans. Their interest rates and payment plans are more beneficial. The Arizona Higher Education Loan Authority, the state’s chosen student loan supplier, is currently not accepting loan applications. Arizona students may take out federal loans from approved private lenders, for example Discover Student Loans. For more information on federal loans, see the stateuniversity.com Guide to Federal Loans. If you are offered

If you have exhausted all possible financial aid options, then your last option would be private loans. Private loans are also offered by your school’s approved lenders.

Three Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for Arizona Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Some Arizona grants require specific accomplishments in a certain amount of time. Read the requirements carefully and make sure you plan things out accordingly.
  • Arizona scholarships include both private and university/college scholarships. Be sure you are aware of which scholarships you qualify for.
  • There are more private universities than there are public ones in Arizona, but private Arizona universities also support federal financial aid.

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