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What are the Different Types of College Grants?

Hillary Flynn
Updated Feb 24, 2024
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College tuition is too expensive for many students to manage on their own, but there are many government funded college grants available to needy students. Unlike student loans, college grants do not have to be repaid. Each type of grant has specific eligibility criteria. Some grants are based solely on financial aid and some have academic requirements. There are a few different types of grants.

Federal Pell Grant

In the world of college grants, the Federal Pell Grant is the most common. This grant is based entirely on financial need. Every student attending an accredited college or university who has not yet earned a bachelor's degree is eligible. The grant offered is equivalent to the number of credit hours a student has enrolled in each semester, up to the amount of need. To apply for the Federal Pell Grant, students and parents must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As of the 2009 - 2010 school year, the maximum grant is $5,350 US Dollars (USD).

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG is offered to students with the most financial need. Students are not automatically eligible as with the Federal Pell Grant. The amount offered is based on financial need as well as funding available and financial aid policies at individual schools. Since FSEOG funds are limited, those who apply first are most likely to receive this grant. As of the 2008 - 2009 school year, the amounts offered are between $100 USD and $4,000 USD.

Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)

The ACG is available for first and second year students who are also receiving a Federal Pell Grant. This grant falls under the academic college grants category. First year students must have completed a qualifying high school program after 1 January 2006. Second year students must have completed a qualifying high school program after 1 January 2005 and maintained a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the first year of college study. As of the 2008 - 2009 school year, first year students are eligible for up to $750 USD, and second year students are eligible for up to $1,300 USD.

National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant)

The National SMART Grant is offered to third and fourth year students majoring in specific subjects. Students must be eligible for a Pell Grant as well as have maintained a 3.0 grade point average. As of the 2008 - 2009 school year, the maximum grant is $4,000 USD.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

The TEACH Grant is available for both undergrad and graduate students enrolled in courses that will lead to teaching positions at elementary and secondary schools. Recipients must sign an agreement to teach for four years at a school in a teacher shortage area that serves low-income families. As of the 2008 - 2009 school year, the maximum grant is $4,000 USD.

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Hillary Flynn
By Hillary Flynn
Hillary Flynn's insatiable curiosity led her to join the WiseGeek team, where she contributes well-researched articles on various topics. In addition to her work with WiseGeek, Hillary manages an electronic publishing business that allows her to develop her skills in technical writing, graphic design, and business development. With a passion for satirical writing and traveling to historical places, Hillary brings a distinctive voice to her content.
Discussion Comments
By ValleyFiah — On Dec 25, 2010

@ Babalaas- If you are a good note taker and you have large classes you can make a decent amount of money selling notes and study guides. It is perfectly legit, and most Universities actually ask students to take notes to submit for each class. This is a good way to supplement college grants and scholarships.

Sites like study blue and notehall pay students for every study guide or set of lecture notes that students buy. If you take good notes, it is easy to get a good rating, thus more sales.

I had a few lectures last semester that had between 200-400 students. One of those classes had three exams including the final. I got $2.00 for every study guide sold. I would just send a mass email to all of the students in my class once I posted a study guide and I would have fifty or more buyers in days. I made over $250 just on that class, and I submitted notes for three of my five classes. This can be a good way to make a thousand or so a year, and make better grades while doing it.

By parmnparsley — On Dec 24, 2010

@ Babalaas- If you have already exhausted all of the college scholarship and grant opportunities you could try becoming a Teaching assistant. I have a couple of friends who are undergraduate TA's and they love the job. Their schedules are dependent on course times already established at my university so it is easy to schedule school around their work schedule.

One of my friends is a chemistry TA, essentially teaching chemistry lab sessions. She only has the one class per semester, her office hours, and all of the other duties that go with managing the class, but the pay is good. Graduate TA's at my University receive tuition reimbursement while undergraduate TA's are paid a salary for the school year. To land one of these positions you must excel in your classes in the subject and build a rapport with one or more lecturers. If you can get the job however, it can pay for a significant portion of your education.

By Babalaas — On Dec 23, 2010

What are some good ways to fund my education besides college scholarships and grants? I need to find a way to pay for school, but I do not have a lot of time outside of school. I have all of the grants and scholarships I can find, but I would rather find another way than take out loans. Any ideas?

Hillary Flynn
Hillary Flynn
Hillary Flynn's insatiable curiosity led her to join the WiseGeek team, where she contributes well-researched articles...
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