Yesterday we looked at the different types of student loans available, today I would like to give a quick breakdown of the various types of federal grants that are available. First I will say that federal grants are by far the best sources of financial aid available. Most have very attainable qualifications and are easily renewed every academic year. These are the types of aid you want to accept FIRST, before any types of student loans. Here goes…
Federal Pell Grant
This grant is entirely need based and your eligibility is based on your (and possibly your parent’s if you are a dependent student) prior year’s income and assets. The maximum amount is currently $4731 however, the new Stimulus bill just increased that by $500. The award amount is determined by Coast of Attendance, enrollment status, and the expected family contribution.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This grant is based on financial need and is administered on a first come first serve basis by your school.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
This is a grant designed to reward student with high scholastic achievement. Recipients must have completed a rigorous high school program. Must be a U.S. citizen. The award is $750 for the first academic year of undergraduate study and up to $1300 for the second year.
National SMART Grant
This grant is designed to reward student’s in the fields of physical, life or computer sciences, math, technology, engineering, or in a foreign language determined to be critical to national security. The max award is $4000 for each of the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. You must maintain at least a 3.o gpa to maintain this award.
This is a quick breakdown of the Federal grant programs. If you have any more questions or would like specifics on any of these programs, please feel free to contact me.