This is perhaps the most widely known, and most widely distributed grant in the US and the entire educational system.  In fact, usually, when you hear about “grants”, these are what pop into your mind.  Need based grants are the bread and butter of the grant community, and the misconception of them are often what chase away perfectly qualified students from receiving other types of grants.

Nonetheless, need based grants are the programs that you will want to access if there is just no possible way that you will have access to tuition money, loans are a no-go, and your parents will not make enough to assist you through college.  Even so, the student may not have the cash to even afford transportation to and from classes, books, and food.  College costs more than just what the tuition happens to be, which is why need based grants are so incredibly crucial for some to pay for school.

But, the question begs the answer, where is the best place to look for such grants?  What are some of the qualifications necessary to access these funds?  And last, how does the US government determine if you are in line for such funds, or if you will be denied your application?


The Pell Grant

The Pell Grant Program was started and coined by Senator Pell in 1978, for the express purpose of assisting lower income and needy students through their educations.  Pell grants are by far the most well known of all the grants in the entire system, and they give out the most money.  In fact, Pell grants consist of roughly 78% of the federal budget for grants.  In this way, if you are determined to qualify for Pell grants, then do your uttermost to apply, as you will most likely not be denied.

The Pell grant is based on determining how “needy” you are.  The first must determine your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) and then they will apply that formula to the cost of your college tuition and expenses.  The number that pops out of that little algebra problem is what ends up you in your pockets.


Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

This little mouthful is otherwise known as the FSEOG program.  Essentially, it goes even one more step beyond the Pell grant program, and attempts to help the most needy students to pay for school.  Basically, the FSEOG would be used to assist the child of a homeless family or extremely low income migrant family.  This program is there to reach out to the least fortunate among us, and it is there to help who they can.  This program has shown to be a bit of a loose cannon over the years, as it can give out both full rides to college, or they can only pay for books.  It really depends on the situation (and who’s running the program at the time.)


How To Find Them

Basically, your fasted way to find these scholarships will be to simply head on over to your college’s Financial Aid Office, crack open your laptop, and log on to FAFSA while being guided by an FA pro.  They are sure going to be able to know how to access these types of grants as they are simply the most common.  Especially if you are looking to gain from Pell grants, the FAFSA website is the epicenter of all of these activities.  One could even say that Pell grants were the first task of the FAFSA government program before federal loans became its main business.

Make sure that you do your research well in advance before you apply to Pell grants on FAFSA, as you need to determine whether you are emancipated or not.



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