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Financial Aid Grants

The best form of financial aid for college is the grant. This is money that, unlike a loan, you never have to pay back. Grants are an option that are offered by the federal government and sometimes the school itself. They are offered based on income, major, accomplishments and needs. Most times you can use several grants throughout your college career.

Federal Pell Grant

The most common federal grant for higher education is the Pell Grant. It's available only to undergraduate students who haven't earned a degree. In order to get one, a family must demonstrate financial need, based on their income and assets, and on the cost of the school to be attended.

There's a limited amount of Pell Grant money available to each borrower. Amounts can change yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $6,345 for the 2020–21 award year (July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021).

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

If your financial need is particularly high, you might qualify for an additional grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). These are given to supplement Pell Grants given to recipients with the lowest expected family income.

These grants range from $100 to $4,000 a year. Like Pell Grants, they're credited to your account or paid to you directly.


If a student is interested in teaching as a career after college, a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant could be the right way to go. This federal grant is awarded to students who agree to teach in a high-need field for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families. Additional requirements may be necessary. If the service obligation is not met, the grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.


Another non-loan way to cover the cost of college is work-study. Here the recipient works a part-time job in exchange for college expenses. The work is paid by the hour. The employer, typically the school, must allow for a flexible schedule so as not to interfere with school responsibilities. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient's course of study.

To learn more about available financial aid, visit Federal Student Aid.