It’s really easy—just fill out your FAFSA each year. You’ll automatically be considered for federal grants.
How to apply for a grant from the U.S. government
Federal Pell Grants
If you’re an undergraduate working toward your first degree and you need money to pay for your education, you may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. To qualify, you must:
- File your FAFSA each year (we recommend that you file by April 15)
- Be enrolled in at least 1 credit hour per semester (waitlisted classes don’t count)
You can receive the Federal Pell Grant for up to six years (12 scheduled semester awards). If you have a current FAFSA on file each year, you’ll automatically be considered.
How much does the Federal Pell Grant program award?
For the 2020–21 academic year, Federal Pell Grants range from $319 to $6,345. The amount you’re awarded will depend on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (calculated based on your FAFSA) and the number of hours in which you’re enrolled.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
If you receive a Federal Pell Grant, filed your FAFSA by April 15, and have an EFC of $0, you’ll automatically be considered for a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG).
How much does the Federal SEOG award?
Federal SEOG amounts vary according to your need. They also vary from year to year.
What’s an Expected Family Contribution (and why does it matter)?
Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the number used to determine whether you’re eligible for certain types of aid, and if so, how much you can be awarded. Your EFC is calculated based on the financial information you provide on your FAFSA. (Your EFC doesn’t tell you what you’ll pay for your education, though. In many cases, families contribute more than the EFC to cover all expenses.)