Federal Grants for College – College education was never cheap to begin with. This fact has caused most of the college students these days are paying for their education trough some sort of financial assistance, whether it’s from a student loan, scholarships, fellowships, grants, or the combination between these funding option.
One of the most sought after source is none other than grants, because the student doesn’t have to repay the money (except in some special occasions). It’s a risk free financial aid because it’s basically free money offered by the federal, state, or local government, nonprofits, corporations or foundations to promote higher education in younger people. Moreover, the eligibility for the free money is often need-based instead of merit-based like scholarships.
Federal Grants for College in United States
When it comes to federal grants for college, the United States government trough their Department of Education provides several types of federal grants, available for students enrolled in a four-year program at eligible university, college, community college or career school. These grants are:
- Federal Pell Grant
I am sure most of you have heard about the Federal Pell Grant. In general, the Pell grant is available for eligible undergraduate students who haven’t received their title or professional degree. The eligibility is determined by your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so it really depends on each of the student’s financial condition. The money provided for this program is limited; therefore the maximum award amount is a subject for changes. Statistically, most of the Pell Grant awardees are the ones whose family income is less than $20,000 per year. However, in some cases there are students whose annual family income less than $50,000 also gets the grant award.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The FSEOG is yet another federal grant that is based on financial-need. If you are eligible for Federal Pell grant, then you should be eligible for FSEOG grant funding too. Just like the Pell Grant, the award amount is determined from the FAFSA, specifically the Expected Family Contribution number. The difference between FSEOG and Pell grant is that the school must contribute to the program too. Therefore, not all schools or colleges are included in this program. The award amount varies between $100 and $4,000.
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program
Students with financial-need who are planning to be educators and is currently enrolled in a four years college may be eligible for the TEACH grant. Students in high-need fields of study such as foreign language, special education, etc are also eligible for the grant program. The maximum award amount is $4,000. It is important to note that you have to be committed to be an educator; otherwise the grant will become a Federal direct loan.
The three federal grants for college we’ve mentioned above are the ones that is most popular amongst American students. There are actually other grants you may be interested with. For example, the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is provided for students whose parent was a member of the US armed forces who died on the duty. There’s also Academic Competitiveness Grant and SMART Grant which combines the need-based and merit-based features.