Need based grant are awarded based on financial need. Like scholarships, grants do not have to be repaid. While many need based grants are available from government programs, they are not government loans. However, some grants do come with terms that, once violated, can convert the grant to a loan. For example, if you do not complete the educational program or remain enrolled for the established period of time for the grant, you may be required to repay the money or at least a portion of it. Need based grants from nonprofit organizations and other private funding sources are also available.
The amount of funding you can receive from a need based grant program can vary depending on a number of factors. Award amounts can be affected by the amount of funds available to the program, which can fluctuate on an annual basis. The amount you receive can also depend upon your documented, unmet financial need and income status. Awards can amount to $1000 or less to a full tuition grant, depending on the cost of the institution in question. Need based grants are available for almost every level of study, from vocational school to graduate programs.
The eligibility requirements for a need based grant focus on your financial situation and the amount of funding you receive for college. To apply for a need based grant, you will need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid if the grant is government-funded. Privately funded grants will have other income verification requirements. Some grants will disqualify students who are also receiving funding from other sources, are over a set income threshold, or who already have a college degree. Also, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident to be eligible for most need based grants. The Federal Pell Grant is perhaps the most well-known need based grant, which can award up to $5,500 per academic year.
Types of Need Based Grants
- Federal Pell Grant: Pell Grants are federal grants only for students pursuing a first bachelor’s degrees, although some may be awarded to students pursuing a post baccalaureate teacher certification program. Pell Grant recipients can receive up to $5,500 per academic year.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): The FSEOG is a grant for students who have received Pell Grants but who still need additional financial aid in order to attend a first baccalaureate program. The amount of money awarded depends upon the applicant’s needs, but students may receive up to $4,000 per year.
- TEXAS GRANT: The Texas Grant is a government funded grant program for students with financial needs attending a public community college or university in Texas.
- Georgetown Law Need-Based Grant Assistance: Dean’s Tuition Grants at Georgetown Law School are offered to full-time J.D. students who qualify to receive federal financial aid.
- Perkins School of Theology Need-Based Grants: Students in Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology can apply for a number of need-based grants through the university, some of which pay full tuition.