National Application Center :: pay for college
A grant is financial assistance provided for college that is not expected to be repaid. Grants can be given by the institution (Institutional Grants) or through the federal government (Federal Pell Grants or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants).
Most institutional grants are provided by the college to help make up the difference between college costs and what a family can be expected to contribute through income, savings, loans, and student earnings.
Other institutional grants, known as merit awards or merit scholarships, are awarded on the basis of academic achievement. Some merit awards are offered only to students whose families demonstrate financial need; others are awarded without regard to a family's finances.
Some grants come with special privileges or obligations. You'll want to find out about the types of grants awarded by each college you are considering.
Federal Pell Grants
Pell grants are need-based awards for students with substantial financial need. The amount of the grant is determined by:
- the family's financial need
- the cost of attendance at the college the student is attending
- the length of the program in which the student is enrolled
- full- or part-time enrollment
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
Colleges distribute this money from the federal government to students with financial need. Eligible recipients must be enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited college or university.