Federal Grants for College

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

College Grants Versus Scholarship

College grants and scholarships are both forms of financial aid that do not require repayment, commonly referred to as gift aid. They are sourced from governments, colleges, and private organizations. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a notable difference: Grants are typically need-based, whereas scholarships are often merit-based.

However, the distinction can sometimes blur, as some scholarships may also have a need-based component. What’s crucial is to carefully review the requirements of each grant or scholarship when applying to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria.

How to Find Grants for College

To find state grant programs for college, you can use the tool available on the Department of Education’s website. This tool helps you locate the agency responsible for distributing grants in each state.

Here’s how to find a state grant:

1. Visit the Department of Education’s website and access the tool for locating state grant agencies.

2. Use the tool to identify the agency that administers grants in your state.

3. Most states require applicants to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for grants. However, some states, such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, may also have separate grant applications in addition to the FAFSA. By utilizing this tool and completing any necessary applications, you can explore state grant opportunities to help finance your college education.

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.

In the 2023-24 academic year, students may receive up to $7,395 from the Pell Grant program. The specific amount awarded depends on factors such as financial need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status.

Eligibility for the Pell Grant includes

  • Undergraduate students with financial need who have not achieved a bachelor’s or graduate degree.
  • Students enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program.
  • Students whose parents were killed in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11 may qualify for additional Pell Grant funding.

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.

Benefits of Federal Grants for College

College grants can be a significant help in covering the cost of education. According to the 2022 Sallie Mae report “How America Pays for College,” scholarships and grants covered around one-quarter (26%) of college costs in the 2021-22 academic year. Additionally, more than half (55%) of surveyed students utilized grants to finance their education.

Steps to Apply College Grants

1. Start by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal grants and other forms of financial aid, such as work-study programs and federal loans. It’s crucial to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible, as some schools award aid on a first-come, first-served basis.

2. Search for private grants and scholarships using resources like the U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool.

3. Review the financial aid award letters from each school you’re considering. These letters will outline the grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans you’re eligible for. Make sure to prioritize accepting all grants and scholarships offered before considering taking out any student loans.

References :

  • Federal Student Aid
  • Images: collegegrantsandscholarships.net

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