A college education has become a significant expense for most families and requires careful planning. Whatever your financial situation is, we encourage you to use this information to help you understand college funding so you can navigate the financial aid process with greater ease.
There are four types of federal student aid grants:
Unlike loans, grants are not repaid unless, for example, you are awarded funds incorrectly or you withdraw from school prior to the planned end of the term. All federal grants are awarded to students with financial need. The amount of money you can get from a Pell Grant depends on your cost of attendance, expected family contribution, enrollment status (full or part-time) and whether you will attend for a full academic year or less.
For the most up to date information on federal grant programs visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website at www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov.
Pell Grants are generally awarded only to undergraduate students. In some limed cases a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program can also obtain a Pell Grant. The amount of a Pell Grant can change every year. The maximum award for the 2014-2015 school year is $5,645.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants are awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need – those with the lowest Expected Family Contribution numbers. FSEOG awards range from $100 to $4,000 per year. The actual amount of the award is determined by each participating school’s financial aid office.
Unlike Pell Grants, the amount of FSEOGs a student can obtain depends not only on financial need but also on the amount of other aid a person gets and the availability of funds at each school. Not all schools participate in the FSEOG Program. Due to limited funds it is important to apply early to be considered for an FSEOG award. Not everyone who qualifies for an FSEOG might get one.
A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is different from other federal student grants because itrequires you to take certain kinds of classes in order to get the grant, and then do a certain kind of job to keep the grant from turning into a loan.
A TEACH Grant can help you pay for college if you plan to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area.
You’ll be required to teach for a certain length of time, so make sure you understand your obligation.
If your parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan, you may be eligible for an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.
Like other federal grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants provide money to college or career school students to help pay their education expenses. However, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants have special eligibility criteria.