Applying for Federal Grants | 02.08.11

Posted in FAFSA, Stafford Loan By Student Loan Network Staff

Applying for federal loans is a common task for most college students, but did you know that when you file your FAFSA you’re automatically applying for federal grants as well? Unlike loans, federal grants do not need to be paid back and are both tax and interest-free. By submitting your FAFSA you are considered for a number of grants including:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants*
  • Federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants*
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grants

While not all of the grants are need based, you still must qualify in order to receive aid. Eligible students will receive notice of all aid including grants in their Student Aid Report (SAR).

For more information on these grants, check out our page on Federal College Grants and Scholarships at

*As of the 2012-2013 school year, these two grant programs are no longer offered by the federal government.

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10 Responses to “Applying for Federal Grants”

  1. Kristy says on June 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm:

    Don’t get a private loan. EVER! Private loans are under the same protections from bankruptcy that federal loans get, but have none of the protections for the student! Right now I am buried under private loans. My federal loans are deferred and will probably be forgiven because of a disability, but the private lenders don’t care about that and just want their money, and with the way the law is, I will be stuck with these loans forever, even if I declare bankruptcy. The private lenders have absolutely no incentive to work with you, because no matter what you do they know you can’t get rid of their loan, so they just want their money. I can’t even consolidate, because nobody is offering consolidation loans anymore unless your credit is perfect. Stay away from the trap of private lending, even if it takes you a little longer to finish. It’ll be worth it in the end. Now, FEDERAL loans, go for it! My Stafford Loans have been a dream to work with.

    You’re probably getting such low aid because you’re under 24, so no matter what you do, the school is going to call you a dependent. Go to a community college, go part time, apply for scholarships, do whatever you can to lower your costs until you turn 24 and are eligible for more FEDERAL loans and grants, but whatever you do, do NOT get a private loan.

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    • ed m says on July 31, 2011 at 8:33 pm:

      thanks for the info. I am looking for money for my daughter who is 18 and will be a freshmen at a New Jersey state college. The Fed. Sub. Stafford loan amount we qualified for is only $3,500 for the year and only $2,000 for Fed. Unsub Stafford Loan. There is a shortage of $12,000. I was surprised that the federal loan amounts were so low. Any advise? Thanks.

      Reply To This Comment
      • Student Loan Guru says on August 1, 2011 at 9:08 am:

        In these situations, students and parents have a few options. You can always look into Parent PLUS loans, or Private Student Loans. While the PLUS loans are through the government, they may not have the best terms, and some private interest rates may actually be lower, so make sure to compare these options to find out what’s best for your family.

        Additionally, scholarships are always an option, and your daughter should apply for as many as possible, as this money would not have to be paid back!

        Good luck!

  2. roberto varela says on June 14, 2011 at 6:11 am:


    I made $ 22,000 on 2010 but it’s not enough for all the expenses i have, car insurance $350, car payments about $ 350, gas about $280, cell phone $70, rent ( I help my mom with the rent $ 350), and I pay the electricity bill $200,credit card payment all together $90. That adds up to over $ 1,500 a month which is why i can’t pay school or books. Last year, fafsa only rewarded me with $500 for the fall for 3 clases i took. My mother had to get a loan of $700 so I could be able to go to school, i sill haven’t been able to repay her all that money and it’s been almost a year. For winter, they awarded me $0 money for classes. I can’t afford to go to school and pay all these bills. I want to be full time and get the help i need, i don’t know if i filled out the fafsa incorrectly last time but it seems to them 22000- aprox. 1300 a month ( i even had to work extra jobs on the side )is enough for both school and all the payments. My mom doesn’t declare me as her dependent or her taxes neither do i declare myself as her dependent on my taxes, so what can i do to show i need help before i send my information on fafsa for this year?

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  3. Denise says on February 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm:

    My daughter is 26. She attends a community college. We have been paying her college fees plus room and board. She wants to complete the FASFA as an independent so that she can continue her education in a 4 year university. She wants to get financial assistance on her own. Two questions: can she do this with out our tax information? And if we claim her on our taxes for the previous years will this interfer with her FASFA status?

    Reply To This Comment
    • Student Loan Guru says on February 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm:

      @Denise- Filing as independent on a FAFSA does not require parents’ tax information. It is separate from tax dependency so claiming her in previous years will not be an issue.

      Reply To This Comment
    • Jen says on May 8, 2011 at 3:25 pm:

      She will be considered an independent applicant, as she is over the age of 24. She will not have to provide information regarding her parents’ finances.

      Reply To This Comment
  4. brittany johnson says on February 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm:

    I am looking forward to attending school this year but i need extra help with my finances. I want to know if i qualify for a grant.

    Reply To This Comment
    • Student Loan Guru says on February 22, 2011 at 12:54 pm:

      @brittany- The best way to know if you qualify for a grant is by filing your FAFSA. Your Financial Aid Award letter will inform you as to what you qualify for. You can also apply for state or local grants to supplement this, or search for scholarships.

      Reply To This Comment

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