Free Government Grants
Funding your dreams
When funding your education, government student loans are usually the best option for students with financial need. But there are also a number of government grants available to help minimize your financial burden. Unlike loans, government grants do not have to be repaid, which make them a valuable option to keep in mind.
Here's a look at some of the most common government grants available:
Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduates when the combination of their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the loan amount they are eligible for still does not meet their financial needs. Pell Grant awards can be anywhere from $400 to $4,000, with the maximum fluctuating from year to year depending on program funding. You can apply for a Pell Grant when you fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
These grants are available only to undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Each individual school's financial aid office is responsible for administering these grants, as well as determining which students are eligible. Students can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, depending on financial need, available funding and when you apply. You can apply for FSEOGs when you fill out your FAFSA.
Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG)
In addition to demonstrating financial need, to be eligible for ACGs students must have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study, as determined by the state or local education agency and recognized by the Secretary of Education. Second year students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for their first academic year. Students may receive ACGs up to $750 for the first academic year of study, and up to $1,300 for the second academic year of study. You can apply for ACGs when you fill out your FAFSA.
Institutional Grants are provided and administered entirely by colleges and universities. Some grants are awarded based on financial need while others are awarded on the basis of academic achievement, or a combination both. Students can apply for these grants at their school's financial aid office.
Note: It is important to apply for any type of grant as early as possible. Often funds are limited and distributed on a first-come first-serve basis.