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Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

While not as well-known as the Federal Pell Grant program, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is a great source of federal funding that does not need to be repaid after graduation. Your eligibility is determined through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which the Department of Education starts accepting on January 1st of each year. Completing your FAFSA online will speed up processing and give you more time to evaluate your funding options. Remember that there is a set amount of federal aid available each year and that funding allocations change annually so apply as early as possible.

What is a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant?

The FSEOG is awarded to undergraduates with the greatest amount of unmet financial need who also qualify for the Federal Pell Grant. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for a FSEOG. EFC is determined through a standard formula used by the Department of Education that calculates how much financial aid you are eligible to receive from the federal government.

Who may be eligible for FSEOGs?

Your FAFSA will determine your eligibility for FSEOG’s because some do not participate in the program. For every three dollars of federal money allocated to FSEOG, the institution is required to contribute one dollar. Currently, there are roughly 4,000 schools nationwide that participate in the program. Funding amounts change annually, so funding for one year could not be available the following year. If you are eligible for the Pell Grant and your school participates in the FSEOG program, you are eligible for this additional federal grant funding. The federal government awards FSEOG grant funds to participating schools to supplement Pell Grants for the neediest students. Schools award funds at their own discretion to Pell eligible students who still need to find money for college.

How much money can I get?

Most students receive between $100 and $4,000 depending on their intended college how much money is available, their EFC and general financial need, policies at your college’s financial aid office and when they apply. Funding levels may change annually at your college, so fill out or renew your FAFSA to maximize your funding opportunity. Students eligible for this award and the Pell Grant are eligible for additional federal grants, such as the Academic Competitiveness Grant.

How will I be awarded the money?

This federal grant is considered a college-based grant because it is disbursed by your intended college. If you're eligible, your school will credit your account, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods. Your school must pay you at least once per term ( either semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that do not use semesters, trimesters, or quarters must disburse funds at least twice per academic year.

Last Edited: November 2015

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