What is the FSEOG?
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded to qualified low-income undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens studying in the United States. About 4,000 academic institutions participate across the United States. It is important to check with the financial office of the college or university the student is attending or planning to attend, in order to make sure that they participate in the FSEOG program.
Where to Find the FSEOG Grant Application?
First a student must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You can apply either with a paper copy or via the web at fafsa.ed.gov. After filing the FAFSA form, either the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR) or the academic institution receives an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). Either way, the expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated and those with the greatest need are given priority. As these students are also Pell Grant recipients, students interested to see if they qualified for the FSEOG should first apply for the Pell Grant. Here students will find the links to download the forms or apply electronically for the FSEOG Grant.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive from the FSEOG?
The amount a student can receive for an FSEOG is in the range of $100 to $4,000 per year. The amount depends on when the application is filed, the student’s financial need, and the funding and policies of the financial aid office at the academic institution in question. This is because the U.S. Department of Education gives each participating college or university a certain amount of FSEOG funds annually.
How Will I Receive My FSEOG Funds to Pay for College?
There are two ways that eligible students will receive the FSEOG funds (1) via the academic institution itself or (2) directly (via check, generally). Sometimes these methods are combined. As with the Pell Grant, the academic institutions distribute the money throughout the academic calendar in relation to the course scheduling, at least twice per academic year.
Don’t forget the importance of applying early, because funds are limited and early applicants who qualify generally receive the funds, while those who wait may find themselves waiting until the following year. A student should apply between the first week of January and mid-February of the senior year of high school, and every January to February during undergraduate studies. For more information check out the site of the U.S. Department of Education.
Struggle in Congress to Balance the Budget May Impact the FSEOG
It appears that the FSEOG program will be impacted by the March 2013 struggle in the U.S. Congress to balance the budget. Also to be impacted will likely be the Federal Work-Study program. If Congress does not manage to come up with an agreement soon, both programs will have less money to help students pay for college.
According to a Reuters article, the University of California, Davis, for example, expects to cut at least $180,000 between the two programs. That means about 38 fewer jobs via the Federal Work-Study Program and about 18 fewer FSEOG recipients on campus.
For low-income students wondering how to pay for college, the Pell Grant and the FSEOG are important places to start for learning how to make college affordable.