Does my federal aid eligibility change if I attend a private or public college?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,215
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses whether your federal aid eligibility will change if you attend a private or public college.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: Does my Federal aid eligibility change, if I attend a private or public college?

    Brad Barnett: Yeah, your Federal aid eligibility can be very different depending on a private college or public college. One of the first things we look at, when we determine your eligibility is our cost of the attendance, and what we think it's going to cost you to our school. A private college s cost of attendance is typically much higher than a public school, so the starting point for your eligibility is different. Now if you are receiving the Federal Pell Grant, most of the time, that s not going to be same whether you are going to public college or a private college. If you looking at Stafford loans, most of the time the dollar amount in a Stafford loan, you can receive, is going to be the same, whether you are going to be public college or a private college. There may a difference whether one is subsidized or unsubsidized but the dollar amount may be the same. From that point, your Federal aid to be very different with some of the other programmes.