What Are Federal Grants for College Students?

Federal grants are available to help ease educational costs, especially for low-income students. Federal grants include the Pell Grant, TEACH Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Read on to learn more about Federal grants for college students. Schools offering Nonprofit Management & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Applying for Grants: the FAFSA Form

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form filled out annually by college students and applicants that determines their eligibility for Federal grants. The FAFSA asks students for detailed financial information about themselves and their guardians. This information is used to determine the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC determines how much federal aid a student is eligible for.

The federal government's student aid website (www.studentaid.ed.gov) provides an online FAFSA form along with detailed information about Federal grants. College students can apply for Pell Grants or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Those planning a career in education can also apply for TEACH Grants.

Important Facts About Federal Grants

Eligibility Awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a degree and demonstrate significant financial need; in select instances, students who are enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program can also qualify
Maximum Annual Award $5,730
Additional Determining Factors Marital status, parents' education, other sources of government aid (free or reduced lunch, SNAP, etc.)
Other Sources of Money Whereas grants are need-based, many scholarships are also available for students with excellent academic records

Types of Federal College Grants

Pell Grants

Pell Grants are awards given to low-income students and do not need to be repaid. Typically, these grants are only awarded to undergraduate students. The maximum Pell Grant covers about 30% of the cost of college attendance. Students unable to maintain 'C' averages must repay the grant.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

This Federal grant isn't awarded to students directly. Instead, Federal grant money is given to colleges and universities, and they can choose to spend it on qualifying students however they wish. For example, a school could choose to pay a student's full tuition or award just a small amount. These awards are typically between $100 and $4,000.

TEACH Grants

A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is limited to students enrolled in teacher education programs. These grants award up to $4,000 per year, and those receiving the grant must be planning to teach in a high-need specialty and agree to work in a school that serves low-income students. These teachers must also serve at least four academic years in these schools or the grant funds will be converted into an unsubsidized loan.

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