Unlike student loans, most federal student grants do not have to be repaid.
Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded to only undergraduate students who have not already earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. The occasional exceptions are students enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program.
Amounts awarded through the Pell Grant program are determined by:
The maximum Federal Pell Grant award for the 2020-21 school years is $6,345.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. These grants are issued by the financial aid offices at participating schools—and not all schools participate.
Depending on how great your financial need is, you can receive between $100 and $4,000 per year. The amount you receive also depends on when you apply, the amount of other financial aid you’re receiving, and the availability of funds at your school.
Once the full amount of your school’s FSEOG funds have been awarded to students, no more grants can be issued.
The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) provides funds for part-time employment to help students with financial need to finance the costs of postsecondary education. About 3,400 schools participate in the program and must pay an hourly wage not less than the federal minimum wage.
To be considered for a Work-Study Grant, you must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and indicate that you are interested in the program. This can be completed online and is a necessary step for being considered for all financial aid.