Grants are a type of financial aid that you don't have to repay and are usually based on financial need. Grants can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school or a private or nonprofit organization.
Federal Pell Grant
The most common federal grant for higher education is the Pell Grant, available only to undergraduate students who haven’t earned a degree. Families that demonstrate financial need are eligible to receive a federal Pell Grant. However, there's a limited amount of Pell Grant money available to each borrower.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
If your financial need is particularly high, you might qualify for an additional grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). These awards supplement Pell Grants and range from $100 to $4,000 a year. They are awarded to recipients with the lowest expected family income. Like Pell Grants, they’re credited to your account or paid to you directly. FSEOG grants are administered by the financial aid office at participating schools, known as “campus-based” aid. Check with your college’s financial aid office to find out if that school offers the FSEOG.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
The Academic Competitiveness Grant provides $750 for the first year of study and $1,300 for the second year.
If a student is interested in teaching as a career after college, a TEACH Grant could be the right way to go. This grant provides up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach full-time for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves low-income students.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
This grant is only for students whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11. Applicants must also have been under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of their parent or guardian’s death, and they must also meet the eligibility requirements for receiving a federal Pell Grant. Learn more about military service grants and scholarships.
Federal Work Study
Full-time, part-time, undergraduate and graduate students who qualify to receive financial aid have the option of working part-time while they’re enrolled in college to further fund their education. The Federal Work Study program is administered by participating schools, so you’ll want to contact the school’s financial aid office to find out if it offers work study.
To apply for federal student aid, you need to complete the FAFSA®, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school. Your FAFSA data is used to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, as well as some private financial aid sources.