College grants are a form of financial aid that is awarded to students, to help pay for college. Typically, college grants are offered to students based on their financial need, and do not need to be paid back.
If you are in or applying to college, and researching your financial aid options, it is important to know the types of college grants available to you. Today, you can earn college grants from the government (federal grants), from your college (college-based grants), or even from outside institutions (private grants). Here, we break down the different types of college grants available to undergraduate students.
1. Federal Grants
Federal grants are awarded by the government, to help students pay for college. According to the official Federal Student Aid website, there are four main types of college grants at the federal level. In order to apply for any of these federal financial aid grants, you must first submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This is a required step for any of the below grants:
- Federal Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grants are typically awarded to undergraduates who demonstrate great financial need, and who have not yet obtained a postsecondary degree. As with most college grants, the Federal Pell Grant does not need to be repaid (except under rare circumstances). The amount awarded for the Pell Grant will vary based on each student’s financial needs, the cost of their tuition, and whether they are enrolled in part-time or full-time courses.
The maximum amount gifted from the Federal Pell Grant changes each year. For the 2021-2022 school year, the maximum award is $6,495. Students are eligible to receive the Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters, or roughly six years. At Goodwin, more than half (52%) of undergraduate students receive Pell Grants to help pay for the cost of college.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Depending on your level of need, you may be awarded between $100 and $4,000 per year. While this is a type of federal grant, the FSEOG is administered by colleges, and only some schools participate in this offering. Be sure to check with your school’s financial aid office to find out whether FSEOG grants are offered.
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are a specific type of college grant awarded by the government, to help students whose parents died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan. If you lost a parent or guardian who was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces after the events of 9/11, who died during their time in Iraq or Afghanistan, you may be eligible for this grant. However, in order to qualify, you must have been enrolled in college, or under the age of 24, at the time of passing.
This is a type of federal grant that does not need to be repaid. The amount granted is equivalent to the amount of the Federal Pell Grant, which changes annually. If you do not qualify for this specific type of grant, but have parents that (or you yourself) were in the military service, there are also scholarships available to you. Goodwin University is veteran-friendly, and will work to meet the unique needs of veteran students.
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants are eligible to students who are considering becoming teachers in low-income and high-need areas. To qualify, your program of study must participate in the TEACH Grant Program, and you must meet a certain academic standard (such as a 3.25 cumulative GPA) while enrolled.
The TEACH Grant is different from other types of college grants in that it requires you to meet certain criteria once receiving the award. Specifically, those who receive the TEACH Grant are obliged to sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve, which requires that they teach for four years in a high-need field, with low-income students. If grant recipients do not complete this service obligation, they will be required to re-pay the grant.
2. College-Based Grants
In addition to federal grants, there are also grants offered by individual colleges directly. College-based grants can be awarded to students for a multitude of reasons. There may be merit-based college grants, based on your academic or athletic achievements. Or, your college may offer you a grant based on your financial need. Every college offers different grants and financial aid opportunities. It is important to speak with your college’s financial aid office to learn about current offerings and how you can apply.
3. Private Grants
Private grants are a type of financial aid awarded by outside organizations. Private college grants may be gifted by your local church, a non-profit you are a part of, or even your parents’ labor union. Private grants may also be awarded for students who met certain requirements. For example, there are grants for students of specific religious faiths, ethnic backgrounds, and for those pursuing unique career paths. Learn more about some unique, private grant offerings here. Or, to learn about specific local grants in Connecticut, you may visit the CT.gov website.
In order to earn a private college grant, you typically need to fill out an application with the organization. Sometimes, however, the organization may just grant you the award. As you apply for college and research your financial aid options, consider contacting the local organizations you are a part of, to see if they have any grants or scholarships available.
Learn About the Grants Available to You
In the Fall of 2019, over 90 percent of our students received financial aid. In addition, Goodwin University offers one of the lowest tuition costs for private, non-profit colleges in Connecticut.
If you are a current Goodwin student or a prospective student researching your options, do not hesitate to reach out to our team of financial aid advisors. We are here to help you achieve your goals, and help put college within your reach. From filling out your FAFSA, to designing a personalized financial aid plan, we are here for you. Learn more by visiting us online, or calling us at 800-889-3282.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.