As keepers of equality, the government offers millions of dollars in grants for people who come from low-income families in an attempt to give everyone a fair chance at completing college and entering the general workforce. While some would say these attempts are misguided and don’t address the real problem at the root of income disparity in the United States, the fact of the matter remains that if you demonstrate a high level of financial need when applying for college, you are eligible for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).
What is the FSEOG?
Established in 1966, schools participating in the FSEOG program are allowed to distribute government funds to students who exhibit exceptional need as per the requirements outlined within the FAFSA. The FSEOG is more competitive and exclusive than the Pell Grant (which, if you qualify for the FSEOG you probably qualify for the Pell and vice versa) because the schools are not only given a limited amount of funding for the year, but must provide $1 for every $3 that the government gives them. The school, then, is in charge of determining how to divvy out the grant among the eligible students. Because eligibility is determined by the information in your FAFSA, in order to gain the most help out of a FSEOG it is wise to get your FAFSA in as quickly as possible.
Am I eligible for a FSEOG?
Again, the FAFSA ultimately determines whether or not you are eligible for the FSEOG, but the factors taken into consideration are as follows:
– you must be a United States citizen (or an eligible non-citizen)
– you may not have a bachelor’s degree
– you may not be in default of any federal student loan
– you may not have a Pell grant overpayment
As with the Pell Grant, the FSEOG can go to students who come from families with a total annual income that is under $50,000, but many (if not most) of the students who receive this grant have parents with a considerably lower annual income.
How much money can I get from the FSEOG program?
The official maximum to the FSEOG is $4,000, but depending on your school and the number of eligible students attending, you will probably receive less. The general limits are placed between $100 and $4,000. There are several different variables that come into play with this grant, so here are the factors to consider:
– Does my college participate in the FSEOG program?
– How many students at my college are eligible for the FSEOG?
– How much funding does my college have?
– When is my school’s deadline for granting college-based aid?
– Did I get my FAFSA in before said deadline?
Answers to these questions can be obtained either on your school’s website or at their financial aid office.
Every free dollar that comes in for your education is a dollar worth its weight in gold. Qualifying for the Pell and FSEOG often opens up opportunities for the receipt of other federal grants, such as the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) or the National Sciences and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART). Don’t forget to check out all the grants your state and college offer.