Every year, thousands of low-income students depend on grants to help them fund their education. The Pell Grant is the most well known of these grants. However, it is not the only need-based grant and you may qualify for other grants depending on your financial condition, your state and the institute you are attending.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for undergraduates who have the lowest expected family contributions. The more dire your need is the more likely you are to qualify for this grant. As of 2011, you can receive anywhere from $100 to $4,000 a year depending upon your financial needs. The grant is disbursed through your school.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
Pell Grant recipient who also excel in academics may be eligible to get the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG). The grant is for freshmen and sophomores who have completed a rigorous secondary school program and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. If eligible, you may get up to$750 for the freshman year and $1,300 for the sophomore year for the 2011-12 academic years.
The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant
The National SMART Grant is available during the third and fourth year of college education for students majoring in science or mathematics discipline. This is also a need-based grant but in order to be eligible, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. As of 2011, the grant pays up to $4,000 per year.
Institutional and State Grants
Besides the above mentioned federal grants, you may also get grants from your state and the institution you are attending. Check with your school’s financial aid office regarding any state sponsored grants in your particular state. Also, many institutions provide need-based grants to help cover the cost of attending. The grants take in to account your family’s financial situation and help make the difference between what your family is able to pay and the cost of attending.