Financial Aid Options

In addition to the many aid options that are provided by JCSU, students and their families also have several options on how to finance higher education.

Here are some popular options:

Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is a federal entitlement program that provides funds to students pursuing a first undergraduate degree. To be eligible for the Pell Grant, the student must have an eligible Pell Grant Index (PGI) or Estimated Family Contribution (EFC).

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is a federal program for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. These funds are administered on a first-come, need basis. The grant can range from $100-$1,500 per academic year. The deadline for Pell-eligible students to be considered for this grant is March 1.

United Negro College Fund Scholarships (UNCF)

Several UNCF scholarships are available to students. Students may find additional scholarships at All applications require at least one letter of recommendation and an essay.

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study program provides part-time employment to eligible students who are enrolled at Johnson C. Smith University. Students earn at least minimum wage for the actual hours worked. Earnings are limited to the amount indicated on the student’s award letter. Students are employed on campus by a variety of departments and offices, with the typical student working approximately 10-15 hours per week, not to exceed 40 hours a month, while classes are in session. Students participating in this program must be full-time.

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

The PLUS program is a non-need-based loan that is available to parents who may borrow up to, but my not exceed, the cost of attendance per year for each dependent undergraduate student, minus other financial aid. These funds may be borrowed in addition to funds borrowed under the student loan program. Parents begin repaying the loan within 60 days after the second disbursement of funds for a particular academic year.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Stafford Student Loan Program

Direct Federal Stafford Student Loans are provided by the United States government directly to students. All Stafford Loans are either subsidized (the government pays the interest while you're in school) or unsubsidized (you pay all the interest, although you can have the payments deferred until after graduation).

To receive a subsidized Stafford Loan, you must be able to demonstrate financial need. With the unsubsidized Stafford Loan, you can defer the payments until after graduation by capitalizing the interest. This adds the interest payments to the loan balance, increasing the size and cost of the loan. Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment. The standard repayment term is 10 years, although one can get access to alternate repayment terms (extended, graduated and income contingent repayment) by consolidating the loans.

The Alternative Loan

The Alterative Loan is another source of funding for dependent students whose parent(s) may not be eligible for the Plus Loan or for independent students who have no other form of support for additional funding. These are called alternative because students borrow from sources outside the college and the United States Department of Education. These loans are based on a credit approval and begin repayment six months after the student leaves the university. The student, who must be at least half-time and in a degree-seeking program, can borrow up to, but not exceeding, the cost of attendance minus other financial aid. The interest rates vary based on the prime rate and additional lender-based criteria.

North Carolina Need-Based Scholarship

North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (ELS) was created by the 2005 General Assembly to provide financial assistance to needy North Carolina resident students attending eligible colleges and universities located within the state of North Carolina. The value per grant will vary according to information that is generated from FAFSA. Scholarships will range from $100 to $2,500 for the year. Grants and scholarships are awarded based on information students provide on their FAFSA form.

DC College Access Program (DC-CAP)

The DC-CAP program provides college "last dollar" award scholarships of up to $2,000 per year (up to five years), to District of Columbia public high school students to help make up the difference between a student's resources, financial aid and actual college expenses.

D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant (DC-TAG)

DC-TAG provides up to $2,500 per year for five years. These funds assist with the financial difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition at participating public colleges throughout the United States. The student must be a District of Columbia resident and have completed DC-ONE APPLICATION.

D.C. Adoption Scholarship (ADOPTION)

DCAS assists District of Columbia students who were adopted from the D.C. Child & Family Services agency after October 1, 2001, as well as students who lost one or both parents as a result of the events of September 11, 2001. DCAS awards up to $10,000 toward the total cost of attendance at eligible colleges and universities. DCAS is neither need- nor merit-based. DCAS is a scholarship in which the award calculation is based on outstanding financial need, after the deduction of other forms of student aid from the college or university's cost of attendance.

The information on this page is maintained by the Financial Aid Department. For more information or questions please contact them directly at 704.378.1035.