Paying for education has never been cheap, and some families struggle with this. As time passes by, colleges get more expensive and resorting to looking for ways to pay it is crucial. Fortunately, the government offers different types of financial aid that most students can apply for. Grants are one of them, designed for those with a difficult financial situation.
Other options like student loans also help; but, these need to be repaid in the future with interests. Meaning that it is a temporary help until you can gather the money and repay your loans. Although with grants, you do not have this problem, as you do not have to repay not a single penny.
However, there are still some situations in that you may be forced to pay back some part, or even the full aid. So let us explore these situations as well as understand more about the world of grants.
Why Everyone Requests for Grants?
Families are always looking for any chance that can ease the amount they have to pay. Some colleges and government programs offer lots of financial aid, and grants are one of them. This type of aid is for people with serious financial problems.
You can apply for this once you submit the FAFSA form, also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a form that students need to submit in order to apply for monetary help. This form will explain your profile and financial situation deeply, as well as include some documents and information (if needed).
Once you submit it, you will receive the Student Aid Report (SAR). This will show information about what are the financial aids that you qualified for. The amount of money that you receive will depend on whether you submitted the FAFSA early and other factors.
So, since you do not have to pay them back, this aid is the most requested. If you do not get a grant, then you would have to choose the student loans they offer. However, you can also apply for a grant through state and federal college programs. So we recommend that you research if there are any programs that offer grants before you apply for FAFSA.
Classification of Grants
To understand more about this financial aid, let us discuss the types available that you can receive. The eligibility for these may vary, but the way to apply is the same through FAFSA. Also, please understand that the amount you receive from each of them may vary depending on:
- Expected Family Contribution. This does not mean the amount of money your family has to pay for college. Rather, it is a value calculated with a formula, using data like assets, taxed, and untaxed income.
- Cost of Attendance. This is the amount that it will cost your school year in total, including things like tuition, the cost of room and board, and other things.
- Whether you are going to attend college for the full year or less.
- And if you are a part-time or full-time student.
Either way, you can look for the amount of coverage you will get on the Federal Student Aid Website by clicking here. Now back to the topic, here are the four types that you can obtain:
Federal Pell Grants
The Federal Pell Grants are given to undergraduate students with big monetary needs. This is the most common of these types. Students who request it must not have a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree in order to be eligible.
You may obtain this grant for up to 12 semesters, so do not forget to fill out your FAFSA form and also keep studying in school. The maximum amount you can obtain from Federal Pell Grants is $6,495 for 2022 – 2023.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
The FSEOG is not as common as the last one; some schools do not present this option. So, be sure to ask your school if it is participating in this program, because the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid gives funds each year to the financial aid office of the respective school.
The office awards these grants to students with serious financial needs. This means that you need to apply quickly because these aids last until the funds are all given. The amount that you can receive from FDEOG can go from $100 to $4,000 a year.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
This type of financial aid is known for teaching other students. To put it simply, if your school participates in a TEACH grant program, you can enroll in it to teach in an elementary, secondary school, or even an educational service agency. That way, you can receive the benefits of giving your service to other students.
Keep in mind that once you enter this program, it is mandatory that you complete it. You have to fulfill four years of teaching if you want to keep your grant. Also, you have a maximum of eight years in total to complete the goal. If you do not succeed, all those grants that you applied each year will convert into unsubsidized loans.
But the hard work always pays off, as you can receive a maximum of $4,000 a year with TEACH if you are able to complete the program.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
These are special grants that are offered for veterans’ students. If you had a member of your family or guardian that served for the U.S. armed forces and died on duty in Afghanistan or Iraq after 9/11, you can apply for the grant.
On top of that, if you did not meet the EFC eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant, then you will have more opportunities here. The maximum amount of aid that you can receive is the same as the Pell Grant ($6,495).
In Which Situations Would I Have To Pay Grants Back?
We already stated that grants do not have to be paid, but under certain circumstances, you will need to repay some of it. For example, with TEACH programs, if you do not want to lose the benefit, you must fulfill your four years of teaching; if you fail, you will have to pay for everything. Other situations are:
- The student drops out of school before half-time of the academic year.
- If they change from a full-time student to a part-time one. In that case, you will have to repay a part of the grant amount.
- And, if they receive support from another financial aid, whether it is a federal grant or even scholarships, you will have to repay the residue from the new and old financial aid.
Once you get the notice that you must repay grants, you will have 45 days to pay the debt. However, you could also enter in a Satisfactory Repayment Arrangement in which case you will have to pay the default loan consecutively for six months. Once you are done repaying it, you will regain eligibility to opt for financial aid programs.
Avoiding to Reimburse These is Your Best Approach
Having to pay back grants is the worst thing that can happen to you if you are not careful. If you do not pay the amount back, your chances to have another grant the next year are low. Most likely, you will be offered a student loan, and you will be lucky if it is a direct subsidized one.
For that reason, look for counseling in your school about financial aid programs and also read all the information on the Federal Student Website. This can help you to avoid making a mistake in one of the programs and maintain your eligibility for future years.