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Types of Aid

Award Descriptions

Students enrolled in the United States Merchant Marine Academy are eligible to apply for the Federal financial aid programs listed below.  Additional information on these financial aid programs can be viewed online at .

Federal Pell Grant

Recipients of the Pell Grant meet the required financial need criteria. Pell is considered “gift” aid and does not have to be repaid. The amount of the award is based on the Expected Family Contribution calculated on the FAFSA.  For 2013-2014, Federal Pell Grant annual awards range from $574-$5,645.

Federal Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG)

To be eligible for a Federal IASG, the student must have lost a parent or guardian due to military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. IASG is considered “gift” aid and does not have to be repaid. The amount of the award is based on the student’s enrollment level.  For 2013-2014, IASG annual awards range from $1411-$5,645.

Federal Direct Loans

The Federal Direct Loan is a loan and funds received must be repaid. The interest rate is a fixed at 6.8%. There is a loan fee; therefore the actual “net” amount disbursed may be less than the amount borrowed. There are two types of Direct Loans.

  • Subsidized loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need. The U.S. Dept. of Education pays the interest while the student is enrolled at least half-time, during the grace period, and periods of deferment.
  • Unsubsidized loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students. The student is responsible for interest payments.

Award amounts are determined by the student’s dependency status, grade level, and financial need.

Maximum Annual Award Amounts

Grade Level



1st Year


Max Subsidized: $3,500


Max Subsidized: $3,500

2nd Year


Max Subsidized: $4,500


Max Subsidized: $4,500

3rd & 4th Year


Max Subsidized: $5,500


Max Subsidized: $5,500


Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

Parents (biological or adoptive) of dependent, undergraduate students may borrow funds through the Parent PLUS loan program. The parent must meet eligibility requirements. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. PLUS Loan funds must be repaid.  The U.S. Department of Education is the lender. The borrower must not have an adverse credit history. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9%. There is no annual limit, so the parent may borrow up to the cost of attendance less any other financial aid.

Veterans Benefits

The Financial Aid Office assists veterans to coordinate tuition benefits based on the type of benefits for which the student is eligible.

External Sources of Financial Assistance

Outside Scholarships and Grants

Students are required to report the receipt of scholarships and grants from sources outside of USMMA to the Financial Aid Office. For students who have applied and/or received financial aid, these awards will be first used to reduce unmet financial aid need, followed by reducing or eliminating Direct Loan eligibility.

Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2013