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Federal Grants

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

Other Federal Grants


The single largest grant program is the Pell Grant which provided almost 4 million students with grant aid in the 2002-03 academic year.  Eligibility for Pell Grant award depends on the following criteria:

  • Eligibility  is based on the Federal Methodology calculation of Expected Family Contribution

  • The cost of  studying in the school (s) you have targeted

  • Decision regarding plans to attend college on a full or part time basis

Please Note:  Even though millions of students qualify for a Pell Grant, most students from middle income families do not qualify because their family income is too high.

You will be notified about your eligibility when you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) which outlines your Expected Family Contribution. The federal government provides enough funds to cover the Pell Grants of students at each participating college.

Questions to Consider:

How do I qualify for a Federal Pell Grant?

If I am awarded a Pell Grant, how do I receive the funds?

Do I have to do anything special to apply for a Pell Grant?

How do I qualify for a Federal Pell Grant?

To be eligible for a Pell Grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a demonstrated financial need. (This is determined by the information you provide about your family's income on the FAFSA form)

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or pass an independently administered test approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education.

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

  • Make satisfactory academic progress

If I am awarded a Pell Grant, how do I receive the funds?

Colleges participating in the Federal Pell Grant program will have a large sum of Pell Grant funds that they will dispense to eligible students. Generally, your college will either deposit the award funds in your own college account, pay you directly or use a combination of these two methods. Schools must pay you the funds at least once a semester, quarter, or trimester.

Do I have to do anything special to apply for a Pell Grant?

No, other than filing the FAFSA form, there are no additional requirements. The FAFSA form automatically submits your information for Pell Grant consideration.


FSEOG is a federal government program intended as a supplement to other sources of aid. Each college gets a set amount of money for FSEOGs and it is the responsibility of the financial aid office to determine which students receive these awards. It is what is referred to as a "campus based program," i.e., the colleges select recipients and decide the amount of  award for each student.

Eligibility is based on extreme financial need with first priority given to Pell Grant recipients. The amount of the awards generally range from $100 to $4,000 per student per year.

Questions to Consider:

What determines my eligibility for FSEOG awards?

How are payments of FSEOG awards handled?

How and when should I apply for FSEOG awards?

What determines my eligibility for FSEOG awards?

The same federal requirements that are valid for Pell Grants also apply for the FSEOG program. In addition, you must show exceptional financial need. Usually, preference is given to students who are receiving a Pell Grant.

How are payments of FSEOG awards handled?

Payment of FSEOG awards are handled in the same manner as dispensing the Federal Pell Grant awards. See the section about Pell Grants above.

How and when should I apply for FSEOG awards?

All you need to do is submit your FAFSA form on time. You will need to submit the FAFSA before the 1st deadline is set by individual college (s). If the FAFSA is not submitted in time you might miss out on these funds. Colleges have very limited FSEOG funds available and those funds could be allocated before they receive your "late" FAFSA analysis. File early and don't miss out.

The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship

Source: A federally funded program with funds administered by state education agencies.

Eligibility Requirements: The Byrd Honors Scholarship is awarded to high school graduates who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in high school and who show promise of continued academic achievement in college. This is a merit-based scholarship. Your un weighted GPA (no extra weight given for grades in honors classes) and your SAT I scores are the criteria for selection of the recipients.

Annual award amounts: $1,500.00 renewable scholarships are awarded for four years of undergraduate study at any public or private nonprofit institution in the U.S. The amount of the Byrd Scholarship plus any other aid you receive cannot exceed the total cost of your education.

Payment of awards: A check is issued to your college in your name. When you enroll in school, sign for the check at the college financial aid office.

Application procedures and deadlines: The Byrd Scholarship Program applications are available at your high school. Submit your application to your high school counselor or appropriate administrator. Your school screens applications and nominates two students to participate in a statewide competition. Your school sets its own deadline for submission of your application to them and accordingly submits your school's two nominations to the state education agency by the given date.

Other Federal Sources of Student Aid:

  • AmeriCorps  A service program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps allows people of all ages and backgrounds to earn help paying for education in exchange for a year of service.

  • Workforce Investment Act Formerly the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), this is a Department of Labor program of tuition and free assistance for job training for the economically disadvantaged, dislocated workers, and others facing employment barriers.

  •   This site provides links to scholarship and grant sites, state aid information, and more.

There are some other merit-based grants specifically targeted to particular students. The federal government funds these programs but state agencies actually choose the recipients. For more information, contact your state financial aid agency.