The federal government provides grants for students attending college or career school. Most types of grants, unlike loans, are sources of financial aid that generally do not have to be repaid. Most grants are awarded only to students with financial need.

Different Types of Grants

There are several different types of federal grants available at CEI:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Unlike loans, grants are not repaid unless you are incorrectly awarded funds or your enrollment plans change significantly.

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstance, such as an error or significant enrollment changes. Pell Grants are awarded to students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's degree or professional degree. Pell Grant eligibility is determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated on the FAFSA.

Students may not receive Pell Grant from more than one school at a time.

How much money can I get?

The maximum Pell Grant award changes each year. The amount you are eligible to receive depends on your financial need, cost of attendance, enrollment status, if you are full-time or a part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

The initial Pell Grant offer is estimated and based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credits per semester). Your Pell Grant adjusts according to the semester credits you are enrolled in. Any changes you make to your class schedule (i.e. dropping classes) could impact your Pell Grant award by reducing your eligibility. You may be required to repay a portion or all of the Pell Grant depending on the number of credits you drop and when you drop.

The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by federal law to be the equivalent of six years of funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%. In certain situations, an eligible student can receive up to 150 percent of his or her scheduled Pell Grant award for an award year.

Am I eligible for Pell Grant?

To determine your eligibility for Pell Grant you must completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your eligibility is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the financial information reported on the FAFSA and to determine the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC determines if you qualify and the amount you may be eligible for. A student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and enrolled in a degree seeking program that is approved for financial aid. Students must also meet the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) each semester to remain Pell Grant Eligible.

Will the Pell Grant pay for all of my classes?

There are some courses that are not eligible for Pell Grant: courses that are audited (not receiving a grade), challenge credits, courses offered through Workforce Training and Continuing Education, and classes outside your current program.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for a FSEOG based on FAFSA application date. Just like Pell Grants, the FSEOG does not have to be repaid.

How much money can I get?

Between $100 and $1,000 a year, depending on when you apply, your financial need, funding at the school you're attending, and your school’s financial aid policies.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

A student whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Additional Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant due only to having less financial need than is required to receive Pell funds, and
  • Be under 24 years old, or
  • Enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death.

The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Pell Grant for the award year – not to exceed the cost of attendance for that award year.

John E. Christofferson
Multi-Purpose Building

Room 353
Phone: (208) 524-3000
Fax: (208) 525-7026