The federal government provides grants for students attending college or career school. Most types of grants, unlike loans, are sources of free money that generally do not have to be repaid.
Grants can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school, or a private or nonprofit organization. Do your research, apply for any grants you might be eligible for, and be sure to meet application deadlines!
Certain scenarios may require that a portion or all of the grant funds be repaid: for example, if you withdraw from school before finishing an enrollment period such as a semester, or if you receive a TEACH Grant and do not complete your service obligation.
Types of Grants
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers a variety of federal grants to students attending four-year colleges or universities, community colleges, and career schools. Check out the grant programs for more details and to learn how to apply:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
Federal Student Grant Programs—Lists details and award limits for different federal student grant programs.
Most of our grants (listed above) are awarded only to students with financial need.
If you are interested in our grants, or in any federal student aid, start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. To continue receiving federal student aid, fill out the FAFSA form every year you’re in school.
Visit the individual pages for each of the grants listed above to learn about additional eligibility and application requirements.
Once you’ve submitted a FAFSA form, your college or career school will let you know how much you may receive and when you may receive it.
Maintaining Eligibility for Grants
The requirements for remaining eligible to receive a grant vary from program to program. Please visit the individual page relevant to your specific grant to ensure that you meet the requirements for maintaining eligibility for that program.
When You May Have to Repay a Grant
Here are some examples of why you might have to repay all or part of a federal grant:
- You withdrew early from the program for which the grant was given to you.
- Your enrollment status changed in a way that reduced your eligibility for your grant (for instance, if you switch from full-time enrollment to part-time, your grant amount will be reduced).
- You received outside scholarships or grants that reduced your need for federal student aid.
- You received a TEACH Grant, but you did not meet the requirements of your TEACH Grant service obligation.
Your school will notify you if you must repay part of your grant. From that point, you will have 45 days to either pay that portion of the grant back in full or enter into a satisfactory repayment arrangement.
If you enter into a satisfactory repayment arrangement, the school may assign the debt to ED for collection or may keep the debt and allow you to make payments directly to the school.
If you do not carry out one of the options described above, you will lose your eligibility for further federal student aid.
Note: If you do not fulfill your service obligation for a TEACH Grant, your TEACH Grant servicer will notify you if your grants are converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You must then repay the loans to ED, with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed.