Students looking to enroll at participating, accredited institutions around the country may be eligible to receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) to help pay for the the cost of attending school. The FSEOG is one of the two major post secondary funding options offered by the U.S. Federal government (the other is the Pell grant).
Within the United States, there are 3,800 different postsecondary colleges that accept this need-based grant.
Like with many state and federal government grants, students must submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form in order to register to receive the FSEOG. To be eligible, applicants must turn in their FAFSA by their university’s deadline. In addition, they cannot already possess an undergraduate degree. Individuals who are in default on any education or federal student loan are not allowed to participate in the grant program.
We have talked numerous times on this site about the importance of submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. It really is the primary and most important form to submit when it comes to determining your eligibility for certain state and federal grants. You can find out more about how to submit the FAFSA form here!
Applicants must be United States citizens or be considered an eligible non-citizen. Applicants for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant are automatically considered after the FAFSA is submitted. Each student is judged according to their family’s financial need. Overall, the grant is intended to help students from the lowest income families.
Income information disclosed on the FAFSA form is used to compile something called the “EFC”, or “Expected Family Contribution.” This EFC number weighs heavily into determining both grant eligibility, and monetary payout. Generally, the less income a family has, and the less they can contribute to a post secondary education, the greater the potential grant amount.
Students who receive this grant are limited to a maximum award of $4,000. The minimum awarded to a student is $100. With this money, the student is allowed to pay for their tuition, fees, books and expenses related to schooling. To continue to receive the funding, applicants must remain in school and cannot receive a Pell grant award in excess of the cost of their tuition.
Each award is given to the school to be distributed to students. Awards are normally divided between the school’s semesters, quarters or trimesters. If the school does not divide their school year into different segments, the federal government requires that the award be divided and given out at least twice a year.
Interestingly, the United States Department of Education states that each award must be funded at least 25 percent by the postsecondary institution. To give the aid to their students, the college must be willing to contribute one-quarter of the amount. If the college does not use the maximum amount that the federal government allows, the government will reduce the amount of money awarded to the school in the following year.
In 2010, the average award amount given by the program to each student was $736. The 2009 to 2010 school year saw almost one billion dollars handed out to students at qualified institutions in the form of a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Overview
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is intended to aid students who exhibit strong signs of financial need. Since the grant is administered by the Department of Education, students only have to complete their FAFSA to be eligible. Once the FAFSA has been submitted, students just have to wait to see if they fit the eligibility requirements for the FSEOG.
Only full-time, students at eligible students can receive the award.
Award recipients are notified by postal mail or online about their award receipt. The award will then be sent to the Financial Aid Office at the student’s school to be distributed throughout the year. Students who are eligible for the Pell Grant will often be able to also receive the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
Since it is intended for the most financially disadvantaged students, awards are given out to these cases first before additional students can receive funding.
United States Department of Education