Simply applying for Financial Aid by completing the FAFSA automatically puts you in a situation to receive at least 1 of the 4 grants issued by the federal government. These specific Grants do not have to be repaid and require virtually no extra work from you as the student as they are need based and the information is gathered from your FAFSA.
The Federal Pell Grant is a need based grant issued by the Federal Government for first time Undergraduate or Professional Students that have a high financial need based on their Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The PELL Grant was first introduced in 1965 to help students achieve an education post high school and in 2011 the Federal Government almost issued $36 billion to over 9.4 million students through this program. Pretty amazing stats considering you will not have to repay this upon graduation as you would a loan.
The PELL grant amount can change yearly, but the maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $5,550 for the 2012–13 award year (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013). However, the amount you get will depend on your:
- Financial need (EFC)
- Cost of attendance at your school (varies)
- Full-time vs part-time enrollment status
- Plan on attending school for a full academic year (Generally 21-24 units)
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program was established by the Department of Education to provide additional grant money to those students in an undergraduate program that show exceptional financial need. Although the eligibility requirements are the same as PELL Grant the FSEOG is actually administered by the school and/or University you may be attending and given to students with an even higher financial need and many times this requires at least an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number of zero (0).
According to the Department of Education you can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, but again that depends on if you school is participating in FSEOG and how they are allocating the funds available to them. Schools are required to give the funds out based on how they are set up (semesters, trimesters or quarterly), if the school does not fall into those categories than FSEOG eligible students will receive the grant at a minimum twice a year. The last key point is that FSEOG is given out on a first come, first serve basis and once the school of your choice has exhausted the funds allocated to them they are no longer available. If you feel you are in a position to benefit from this need based grant than the sooner you find a school and apply for financial aid the higher probability you will have of reviving this grant that does not have to be re-paid after graduation.
As defined by the Federal Government the TEACH grant is
A federal grant that provides up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families and to meet other requirements. If the service obligation is not met, the grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is more specific and set up for a great cause. If your parent and/or guardian passed away as a result of their military service in either Iraq or Afghanistan you may be eligible for this grant. We have also included the other requirements below:
- Not eligible for PELL grant based on your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)
- Under 24 years old and/or enrolled at least part-time at the time of your guardian or parents death
Students that qualify for this grant can receive up to the max awarded that year under the PELL grant, currently $5,550.