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Types of Aid Available

Financial Aid is any source of funds available to assist students with paying for the costs of a college education. If you think you will need assistance, you are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Whatever your family situation, you can be sure that you will be treated fairly and equitably.


Most assistance is based on demonstrated financial need; however, some are based solely on merit. Merit programs, including most scholarship programs, help students who have special abilities. Often, you do not have to show financial need to receive money through merit-based programs.


There are four main types of financial aid:  Scholarships, Grants, Work-Study and Loans. Usually, a student is offered a combination of aid (known as an award "package") from these four programs which are a combination of Merit Base and Need Base Aid:


Merit-Based vs Need-Based Financial Aid

As you’re learning more about financial aid, you’ll hear the terms need-based aid and merit-based financial aid. Understanding how this aid is awarded and what type of financial aid is available to you will help you determine how to pay for your college tuition and other school costs.


Many students assume that all financial aid is based on financial need. However, there is a variety of college money available based on your academic merits and special skills, as well as from the organizations you belong to. To get the most money for college, you’ll want to understand the differences between each type of aid and how to get the amount you need to pursue your college degree.


The Basics on Merit-Based Aid

Some money for college is awarded without regard for financial need. This type of college aid is usually awarded for a student’s academic achievements in high school, as well as for special talents and unique traits, such as musical or athletic skills. Awards and scholarships like this are usually awarded by states, colleges and universities, private groups or individuals. It’s generally intended to supplement need-based aid or help you cover your expected family contribution if you don’t have that money on hand.

Common examples of merit-based financial aid:

  • College Scholarships
  • Awards
  • Tuition Waivers

The Basics on Need-Based Aid

Need-based college aid is awarded based on your family’s financial need. The Department of Education and the colleges and universities you’re applying to determine your need by subtracting your expected family contribution (EFC) form the cost of attendance (COA) at each college or university.


Because all federal aid is need-based, you must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to be eligible for federal aid, as well as need-based aid from states and institutions. Some need-based aid consists of education grants you don’t need to repay, while others are college loans that need to be repaid with interest. Federal loans are the largest form of financial aid, and they will likely be a large part of your college award letters.

Common examples of need-based financial aid:


Please click on our Aid-Scholarship tab for more information regarding Dillard University Scholarships Programs and there is additional information on the Outside Scholarships tab.




Federal Pell Grant

    • Need based grant awarded to U.S citizens or eligible non-citizens.  
    • Awards vary from $296 to $6,345 for the 2020-2021 academic year.
    • Awards are based on eligibility criteria which includes the family's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and the student's enrollment status (credit hours of enrollment).  Please Note:  Federal Pell Grant awards are generally awarded based on full-time enrollment and will be adjusted if the student is less than full-time. 


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

  • Students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant Program are given priority.
  • This is a Need Based grant awarded to students with a Pell Eligible Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - Priority is given to students with lower EFCs.
  • Must be enrolled at least half time.
  • Funds are limited, must meet financial aid priority deadline of March 1st.




Federal Direct Subsidized Loan 

  • Need-based loan in which interest does not accrue while the borrower is enrolled at least half-time.
  • Interest rates are fixed. The Interest rate for the 2020-2021 year is 2.75 percent. The Federal Law determines the new rates which are effective July 1st of each award year.  The rate is based on the U.S. Treasury Note/Bill.
  • The maximum annual loan amounts are based on classification, Freshman: $3,500, Sophomore: $4500, Juniors & Seniors: $5500.
  • First-time borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note and an Entrance Counseling session before receiving loan proceeds.
  • Borrowers are required to complete an Exit Counseling shortly before graduation or upon ceasing enrollment on at least a half-time basis.
  • Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or is enrolled less than half time.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • Non need-based loan that accrues interest while the borrower in enrolled. The borrower may choose to repay the interest as it accrues while enrolled, or defer the interest to be repaid with the principal balance.
  • 2020-2021 Interest Rate is fixed at 2.75 percent.
  • Interest begins accruing while the student is in school. If interest payment is deferred, the interest will capitalize onto the principal.
  • Repayment begins six months after the student graduates or is enrolled less than half time.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

  • Low-interest loan made to Parents of Undergraduate Dependent Students. The lender is the federal government.
  • 2020-2021 the fixed interest rate is 5.30% which applies to all Direct Parent PLUS loans.  
  • Available to creditworthy parents regardless of financial need. A credit check will be performed by the government.
  • Amount borrowed may be up to the cost of education as determined by the school, less any other financial aid and resources.  
  • Loan origination fees are charged.  Repayment begins 60 days after loan is disbursed.
  • Students whose parents’ credit is denied for a PLUS loan may be eligible for additional unsubsidized Stafford loans

Federal Nursing Loan:  This is a Federal Loan awarded to eligible students enrolled in the Nursing Program.



  • Must be enrolled at least half-time as an undergraduate student in the Nursing Program at Dillard University.
  • Low interest loan based upon financial need which is determined by results of FAFSA
  • Submit a copy of federal tax return(s) if requested by the Financial Aid Office


Promissory Note

  • Requires a separate master promissory note (MPN)
  • The MPN cannot be completed until the loan has been certified by Dillard University
  • Students will meet with the Nursing Loan representative in the Office of Business and Finance


Additional Information

The Nursing Student Loan is a federal loan available to undergraduate nursing students demonstrating financial need. Nursing students who want to be considered for the loan must meet the FAFSA priority deadline for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Fixed interest rate of 5 percent
  • No interest accrues while you are in school at least half-time
  • Repayment begins nine months after graduation or withdrawal from the University
  • Deferment during periods of at least half-time enrollment while pursuing an undergraduate degree or advanced professional (graduate) training in nursing.



Federal Perkins Loan -  The Federal Government ended this loan program effective September 30, 2017.  No additional Perkins Loans will be awarded.  Only students who were awarded a Perkins Loan for the 2017-2018 year, and their Perkins Loan disbursed prior to October 1, 2017 will be eligible for a disbursement for the Spring 2018 semester (pending continued eligibility).

  • Fixed 5% interest rate loan based on financial need.  Perkins loans accrue no interest while the borrower is enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
  • Considered campus based aid meaning Dillard is the lender of the Perkins funds.  First-time Perkins loan borrowers must complete a Master Promissory Note before receiving loan proceeds.
  • Must be repaid; repayment begins 9 months after graduation or last date of half-time enrollment; terms may differ for students with a prior balance.
  • Deferment and cancellation privileges exist.



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