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federal college grants for low income

Federal College Grants for Low Income Students

Going off to college may be the dream of many young people, but for those coming from a low-income family, this dream is often out of reach. The good news is that there are federal college grants for low-income students that can make college more accessible. With the assistance of grants, college can remain an attainable goal for those needing some financial assistance. Even some ongoing expenses, such as student loan payments and tuition, can be covered in part or in full by these grants.

Types of Federal Grants

Federal grants are not just limited to low-income students. However, there are several specifically that offer assistance to students regardless of a family’s income level. Below are some of the grants available to low-income students.

  • Federal Pell Grants: Pell Grants are offered each year to low-income students that are accepted at a college or university. Although the amount that students can use to offset tuition or room and board expenses for their college education is the same each year, the requirements for qualifying for the grant change from year to year.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG): This type of grant is available to low-income undergraduate students that have the greatest possible need for financial aid. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants can be used to pay for tuition, fees, room and board and textbooks. The funds distributed through the FSEOG program can also be used for books and other necessary supplies.
  • TEACH Grants: The federal TEACH grants are offered to low-income students who are interested in the field of teaching. This is a program that is meant to encourage individuals to pursue a career in teaching, especially those that are interested in working in areas where there is a shortage of qualified teachers. The TEACH grants provide funds to offset the cost of tuition, fees, and other education-related expenses.
  • Federal Work-Study Program: This program provides part-time employment to low-income undergraduate students. Through this program, students may be able to earn money that can be used to cover some of the costs associated with their college education, such as tuition and fees. The Federal Work-Study Program also allows students to gain experience in the workforce and gives them an opportunity to build skills that can be marketable when they are looking for a full-time job after finishing their college education.

Qualifying for Federal College Grants

In order to be considered for any of the federal college grants for low-income undergraduate students, an individual must first fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The FAFSA form should be completed by both the student and their parents to provide the college or university with information about the student’s financial situation. From there, amounts of grants may be determined.

The Pell Grant is a needs-based grant, meaning that it is awarded to those with the most need. The amount of money that is received is based on the individual’s family’s income level and other expenses. The higher the income level, the lower the amount of the Pell Grant that is received.

The FSEOG, or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and the TEACH Grant are also based on an individual’s financial situation but also require the student to demonstrate specific abilities and qualifications. The Federal Work-Study Program is typically awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and is based on the amount of funds available at the school for that program.

Additional Resources

In addition to federal college grants for low-income students, there may be other resources that can be utilized for assistance. Scholarships and grants are also available from organizations, foundations and private donors. Additionally, some states offer grants and scholarships to low-income students that may be used for education expenses.

It is also beneficial to research loans that may be available to cover any remaining costs. Some loans may have more favorable terms and lower interest rates than others.


A college education is an investment that can pay dividends in the future, but the upfront costs can be daunting. Fortunately, there are many federal college grants for low-income students that can help make that dream possible. From Pell Grants to grant programs specifically for teaching and more, there are many ways to address college expenses.

It is important to research all the options available and to apply for the assistance that is necessary to help offset those costs. With the help of these federal grants, low-income students can achieve their goal of attending college and starting a successful career.

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