SMART Grant - National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant

Students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant may also be eligible for the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant. For those interested in the physical, life, computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering, foreign language, or non-major, liberal arts programs, consider this generous grant.

What is a SMART Grant?

The SMART Grant emerged in 2005 to reward intelligent students who are interested in the math and science fields, as well as other high-demand areas. As a federal grant, you’ll need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to determine your eligibility and funding for the SMART Grant. Your college should notify you if you are eligible for the grant.

Who is eligible for SMART Grants?

Only those in their third or fourth year of an undergraduate degree program – or fifth year of a five-year program – are eligible for the grant. Eligible recipients must already be Pell recipients, and demonstrate high need to qualify for grant funding beyond the Pell award. Students must also have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and have at least one class in an eligible field of study the year the grant would be awarded.

How much money can I receive?

Eligible students receive up to $4,000 for each of the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. The amount of the SMART Grant, when combined with a Pell Grant, may not exceed the student's cost of attendance. As with all federal aid, the amount is subject to change, and students may receive less than the maximum depending on the amount of students found eligible for the grant each year.

What else should I be aware of?

Students who are eligible for SMART Grants may find themselves ineligible for the grant the following year if they are not enrolled in at least one course in the fields of study required by the grant. You do not need to major in that particular science field to qualify, if your major is in another science field that has been approved by the program.

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Last Reviewed: June 2020