The Pell Grant is a federal financial aid award that is given to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Some colleges and universities offer scholarships specifically for students who are recipients of Pell Grants.
To be eligible for a Pell Grant, you must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen, and must be enrolled in an undergraduate program at a college or university that participates in the Federal Pell Grant program. If you are a recipient, it means that you have been determined to be financially eligible for the grant based on your family’s income and assets and the cost of attendance at your school.
Usually, Federal funded grants are given to student whose families earn below $20,000 annually. These grants are typically used to help cover the cost of tuition, fees, book allowances, and other educational expenses. Additionally, these grants are not loans and are not to be repaid, except the student’s eligibility changes the academic year or the student withdraws from school.
In this blog post, I summarized 8 different undergraduate scholarships applicable for Pell Grant beneficiaries. Read through and apply for the opportunity that best fits your qualifications.
1. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This grant is awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need and is funded by the federal government. It is often given to Federal Pell Grant recipients.
To apply for FSEOG, applicant must complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, and must be considered in need of financial assistance. The FAFSA form can be obtained in high schools from the school’s counseling office or online. It is usually preferable to fill your application form online as it speeds up your application process and review.
While filling your FAFSA form, you will be asked to provide some personal information which include: your parent or guardian income, financial need, grades, etc. which you will continually update each year. After completing your form, either with the help of your parent or guardian, you will be notified if you are eligible for the FSEOG.
Requirements for FSEOG Application
- You must be an undergraduate enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree
- Must be pursing your first degree
- Your family must contribute nothing to your tuition
- A citizen of the United States
- You must possess a GPA of at least 2.0
- Applicant must have been awarded a Pell grant
- Automatic disqualification if you have been in default on a student loan
- Must not owe any repayment on other grants.
If you are awarded the grant, your money will be transferred directly to your school. This fund will be used solely for your educational cost such as tuition, accommodation, textbooks etc.
FSEOG grant starts from $100 up to $4,000 or more. However, it is not guaranteed that beneficiaries will receive the grant every year of their academic study. To keep your chances high on receiving the grant, always update your FAFSA form every year.
2. Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) Scholarships
Many colleges and universities offer their own SEOG scholarships, which are similar to the federal FSEOG grant. These scholarships are often given to Pell Grant recipients and are intended to help cover the cost of tuition and fees.
To apply for SEOG, applicant must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours, and be a recipient of Pell Grant. You must also complete and submit your FAFSA form before 1st of October. Applications after this date might not be considered during the incoming academic year.
SEOG awards vary by state, and are typically smaller than FSEOG awards. SEOG beneficiaries are entitled to receive $100–$4,000 depending on the gravity of the student’s financial need.
FSEOG and SEOG are similar, the major difference is that SEOG is state funded while FSEOG is Federal funded. Both grants provide financial assistance to undergraduates.
Visit: SEOG Website
3. College Board Opportunity Scholarships
The College Board offers a variety of scholarship programs for low-income students, including the Opportunity Scholarships, which are open to Pell Grant recipients.
To be eligible for a College Board Opportunity Scholarship, you must be a high school student in the United States who plans to enroll in college in the next academic year. You must also meet the financial requirements.
How to apply for College Board Opportunity
- Create an account on the College Board website
- Complete the online application by answering questions about your personal and academic background. Also include your plans during and after college (where needed)
- Participate in the PSAT/NMSQT, which is a qualifying test for the scholarship program
- If selected, you will be contacted by the college board with your provided information and asked to claim your scholarship.
4. National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Scholarships
The NSBE offers a number of scholarship programs for minority students, including the NSBE-Pell Grant Scholarships, which are open to Pell Grant recipients who are studying engineering.
To apply for NSBE, applicant must be an active member of the NSBE (become a member). Applicant must also fill the online application form and submit application transcripts, letters of recommendation and other documents as required.
5. American Association of University Women (AAUW) Scholarships
The AAUW offers a number of scholarship programs for women, including the AAUW Selected Professions Fellowships, which are open to women who are studying in traditionally male-dominated fields and are Pell Grant recipients.
To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be a woman pursuing a first degree in an accredited college. You must also pass other eligibility requirements as specified by the scholarship board.
How to apply for AAUW
- Create an account on the AAUW website
- Complete the online application by answering questions about your personal and academic background
- Submit all necessary documents including your transcripts, recommendation letters etc.
6. United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Scholarships
The UNCF provides financial assistance to minority students who are pursuing higher education at member institutions. Many of the scholarships offered by the UNCF are open to Pell Grant recipients.
To become eligible, you must be an African American high school or college student strictly in need of financial assistance.
Be aware that, UNCF scholarship programs are highly competitive, and not all students who apply will receive a scholarship.
To apply, create an account on the UNCF website, fill out the application, and provide the necessary information as required.
7. Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Scholarships
The HSF offers a variety of scholarship programs for Hispanic students, including the HSF/General College Scholarships, which are open to Pell Grant recipients.
To become eligible, an applicant must be a Hispanic high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who is planning to enroll in a full-time degree program at an accredited college or university in the United States. You must also pass other eligibility criteria such as need for financial assistance, academic requirements etc.
8. Native American and Alaska Native Scholarships
There are a number of scholarship programs available for Native American and Alaska Native students, including the Native American Scholarships Fund, which is open to Pell Grant recipients.
To be eligible for a Native American or Alaska Native scholarship, applicant must be a member of a federally recognized tribe or Alaska Native corporation, or be able to demonstrate Native American or Alaska Native ancestry. You must also be planning to enroll in a full-time degree program at an accredited college or university in the United States.
To apply, create an account on scholarship’s provider website and then commence your application. Provide the necessary information and documents, then submit.
Pell Grant Calculator
The Pell grant calculator is a tool that gives you an estimated amount of the financial aid that you (student) may be eligible to receive through the Federal Pell Grant Program.
To use the calculator, you will need to input information about your financial condition including your income, assets, and the number of people in your household. The calculator will then use this information to estimate your expected family contribution (EFC), which is a measure of your ability to pay for college.
Based on your EFC, the calculator will estimate the amount of Pell Grant funds that you may be eligible to receive.
How much does Pell Grant pay per semester?
The amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive varies on different conditions such as your expected family contribution (EFC), your enrollment status (full-time or part-time), and the cost of attendance at your college.
As at 2021-2022 academic session, the maximum Pell Grant award is $6,495 per year for full-time students, and a maximum of $3,247.50 per year for part-time students.
Be aware that the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive through Pell grant program may vary from year to year on different factors.
Do you have to pay back FAFSA?
FAFSA does not provide financial aid directly to students. It is basically a form used to determine a student’s eligibility for various federal financial aid programs. Therefore, you do not have to pay back FAFSA.
FAFSA can be used to obtain grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Students who receive Pell grants or eligible scholarships through FASFA do not have to repay. However, loans are to be repaid with interest. While Work-study programs provide students with part-time employment opportunities on or off campus, and the earnings from these jobs do not have to be repaid.
How can I reduce my income for FAFSA?
Here are 3 ways you can use to reduce your income for FASFA:
- Save for college in a tax-advantage account
- Consider tax deductions and credit
- Report your income accurately.
When should a student fill out FAFSA?
The FAFSA becomes available on October 1 each year, and it is recommended that students submit their FAFSA as soon as possible after that date.
What’s the difference between Fafsa and Pell?
FAFSA is used to determine a student’s eligibility for various types of federal financial aid, while Pell Grant is a need-based grant that is available to eligible students who demonstrate financial need.
Pell Grant eligible scholarships are financial aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education that provides grants to eligible students to help them afford the cost of higher education.
To receive a Pell Grant, you must fill out an FAFSA form. This form further gives you opportunities to apply for eligible Pell grant scholarships, as mentioned in this blog post.
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