Aid Programs - Undergraduate Students

Once financial aid eligibility is determined, the Financial Aid Office offers students a Financial Aid Package which is posted on their myMemphis account.  It may be a possible combination of grants, loans, scholarships, and employment - to meet as much of the student's need as possible. Enrolled hours, residency classification, cumulative grade point average, and other financial assistance already received will affect the amount and type of financial aid students can receive to meet their financial need.


Federal Pell Grant

A non-repayable, federally funded program for undergraduate students pursuing a first Bachelor's degree. Awards vary in amount each year and are based on financial need and hours of enrollment. Pell Grant is awarded based on full-time status but will be adjusted and disbursed based on actual hours enrolled. Students receiving full time Pell Grant awards for the fall and spring semesters will have no remaining eligibility for summer.

Effective for the 2012-2013 Award Year, the duration of a student's eligibility to receive a Federal Pell Grant will be limited to 12 semesters, or until a bachelor's degree is earned, whichever comes first. This limitation includes the percentage of Federal Pell Grant the student has received from all post-secondary institutions, for a maximum of 600%.

For example: Students who enroll full-time during the fall and spring semesters will receive 100% of their Pell Grant eligibility. Students can receive 12 semesters (or 600%) of Pell Grant based on full time enrollment.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

A non-repayable, federally funded, university-based program for undergraduate students pursuing a first Bachelor's degree. Priority consideration is given to early applicants who are pell eligible, demonstrate the most financial need and have the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the Student Aid Report.

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC)

A non-repayable state grant program available to undergraduate Tennessee residents pursuing a first Bachelor's degree. This award is contingent upon Pell Grant eligibility, state funding and early submission of the FAFSA.

To receive priority award consideration, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on line by March 1st.  A separate letter will be mailed from the state agency regarding program eligibility.


Subsidized Stafford Loan

A variable interest loan available to degree seeking students enrolled at least half-time, based on financial need. The interest rate changes every July 1st and is paid by the government while the students are attending school. Repayment of principal and interest begins 6 months after enrollment ceases to be at least half-time. The current interest rate on this loan is 4.29%.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

A variable interest loan available to degree seeking students enrolled at least half-time, not based on financial need. Eligibility for the subsidized loan must be determined before an unsubsidized loan can be considered. The interest rate changes every July 1st and will  be charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. The interest can be paid while the student is still in school. Repayment of principal and interest begins 6 months after enrollment ceases to be at least half-time. The current interest rate on this loan is 4.29%.


  Undergraduate Academic Year Loan Limits
  Base LoanSub/Unsub AddlUnsub Extended LoanUnsub only* Total Loan*

(0-29 hrs)





(30-59 hrs)





(60+ hrs)





Undergraduate Aggregate Loan Limits
Base Loan Base + Extended




*available to students classified as independent for financial aid purposes only


  • Borrowing the maximum amount for Fall and Spring leave zero eligibility for Summer at the same grade level.
  • The amounts given above are the maximum yearly amounts you can borrow in both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, singly or in combination. However, you cannot borrow more than your cost of attendance minus other aid for which you are eligible. This means you may receive less than the annual maximum amounts.
  • Loans are awarded per academic year and students are not eligible to receive more than half a year's limit in one semester. For example a freshman student may not receive more than $1,750 in Subsidized Loans (half of $3,500) during one semester.
  • Monitor your loan history on the National Student Loan Data System here.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

This program allows the parent with a good credit history to borrow to pay the cost of education for a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time. The yearly limit is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance expected or received. The current interest rate for PLUS loans is fixed at 6.84%. There is no grace period for this loans. Interest begins to accumulate at the time the first disbursement is made. Repayment of both principal and interest will begin 60 days after the full loan amount has been disbursed.

Parents can apply for the Parent PLUS loan on-line at

State Programs

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC)

For more information, visit the TSAC web site.


For more information, you may view the Scholarships Office web site.

Alternative Loans

Private loans are an option for students (and their parents) who do not show financial aid eligibility for other types of financial aid, or who need additional funds to meet educational expenses.  Most private alternative loans require a credit check.

Many of these alternative loan programs also look at what financial aid you are already receiving for that particular period. Other financial aid assistance is deducted from the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution) before aid eligibility is determined for other programs.  The following link includes the names and contact information of lenders frequently used by students.

Partial list of Alternative Loan Lenders

NOTE: Our office does NOT endorse any particular lender. This information is only provided for your convenience and can change without notice. You should request current information directly from the lender or company offering the program.

The Federal Tax Reform Act of 1986 significantly changed the tax status of scholarships, fellowships, and grants you receive from the university. Prior to the Act, they were generally not subject to income tax. Since then scholarship, fellowship, and grant amounts exceeding tuition, fees, and course-related books, supplies, and equipment have become taxable.

Financial assistance received from other sources includes vocational rehabilitation benefits, veteran's benefits, outside scholarships, employee fee waivers, teacher/child tuition discounts, graduate assistant fee waivers and any other assistance. All outside aid amounts must be considered in determining total aid eligibility.