About Federal Pell Grants and Other Funding Opportunities

There are many different federal grant opportunities that can help you accomplish your life goals. Depending on what you want to accomplish, you may need to take out a loan or obtain funding from other sources. Whether you are looking to apply for advanced education or you want to purchase your first home, the U.S. government can provide you with funding to help you realize your goals. 

Government grants are a more appealing option than loans, because you are not required to pay them back. If you are awarded a grant, you can use the funds for their specific purposes. For example, the Federal Pell Grant can be used for educational expenses. By obtaining this financial assistance, you do not need to worry as much about finances. However, keep in mind that there are specific requirements you need to meet in order to receive grants. Some of these federal grant opportunities are outlined below. 

What is the Federal Pell Grant?

The Federal Pell Grant is a funding opportunity that you can use to help you afford the cost of your college tuition. Most often, these grants are awarded to undergraduate students. However, graduate students in specific situations may also qualify to receive a grant if they want to obtain additional education. 

Not every student is eligible to receive a grant through the Federal Pell Grant Program. In fact, only individuals who qualify as low-income can receive a grant. This is because Pell Grants are awarded based on need. The program’s goal is to help students from low-income families to be able to afford higher education. Furthermore, the grant amount students can receive varies by year. 

In order to apply for a Pell Grant, you need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). There is no additional application you need to file in order to be considered for a grant. The amount of funds you are eligible to receive depends on your expected family contribution (EFC), which is based on your household income and size. This amount is printed on your FAFSA once the application is processed. 

Learn About the Federal Supplement Education Opportunity Grant for Students

The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is similar to the Pell Grant, because you can use it to help finance your college education. You also do not need to repay the funds you receive through the FSEOG. 

However, unlike the Pell, FSEOG is administered by specific colleges and universities. In fact, these institutions’ financial aid offices are responsible for distributing funds. If you are interested in obtaining this form of funding, keep in mind that not every college participates. It is up to the institution’s discretion to determine if it will offer FSEOG funds to enrollees. 

The FSEOG is awarded to students based on need. For this reason, only students who demonstrate that they have the highest need will receive an FSEOG. Available funds vary by institution, but awardees can expect to receive anywhere between $100 and $4,000 for each academic year they qualify. Furthermore, students can only receive an FSEOG if they are undergraduate students who are earning their first bachelor’s degrees. 

To apply for an FSEOG, you must submit the FAFSA. If you qualify, the institution you are enrolled in may post the credit to your account. Otherwise, it will pay the funds directly to you. If you have specific questions about the grant, contact your school’s financial aid office. Keep in mind that the amount of funds you can qualify for may vary from one year to another. This variation is based in part on the amount of funds your institution has to distribute and your EFC for that year. 

Find Out About First Time Home Buyer Federal Grants

There are very few first-time home buyer grants that are available at the national level. Often, these types of grants are administered at the city, county or state levels. Therefore, candidates who are looking for assistance to help them finance their homes should begin looking locally first. 

While not necessarily grants, there are some federal funding opportunities that can make it easier for you to afford to buy your first home. Some of these options include: 

  • HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door program. If you are a teacher, law enforcement officer, firefighter or emergency medical technician (EMT), you can qualify for this program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) routinely auctions off foreclosed properties to individuals. If you have one of these professions, you may qualify to buy one of these properties for half its listing price. 
  • A VA Loan. If you are a veteran, you may qualify to obtain a loan from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). With this option, you can usually receive a loan with favorable interest terms, which can save you money as you fulfill the terms of your loan. 
  • An FHA loan. Similar to a VA loan, a loan from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a good option to consider if you need help to finance your home purchase. In order to qualify for one of these loans, you need to qualify as low-income. 

Guide to Additional Federal Grants  

There are many different federal grants you can qualify for. Depending on your professional interests, your personal circumstances or where you live, there may be additional financial opportunities available to you. Other types of federal and state grants that are available relate to: 

  • Starting a small business.  
  • Beginning your own farm. 
  • Obtaining a certain type of degree. 

You can easily search online for different grant programs you can qualify for. Different federal departments are responsible for managing their own grant programs. As a result, you may need to contact specific branches of the federal government to determine which benefits are available to you. 

Furthermore, keep in mind that each of these programs has its own eligibility requirements. Likewise, departments are responsible for establishing application timelines for the various grants programs they manage. As a result, you need to be aware of the different deadlines you must meet. 

Otherwise, you may miss a funding opportunity and need to wait until the following year to apply. If you are looking to enroll in college or buy a house, missing an application deadline can delay your plans. To avoid this, make sure your applications and supporting documents are in order before the associated deadlines.