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Grants for College

Free Money for College: Grants

Grants are awards that don't have to be repaid, are usually based on financial need and are considered a gift from your school, the federal government, the state or a private foundation.

There are three types of federal grants: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and TEACH Grants. The amount awarded is based off of Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Cost of Attendance but maximum limits apply for each program. TEACH Grants are not based on financial need.

States also issue grants to needy students. To be eligible for a Rhode Island State Grant, your FAFSA must be received by the federal processing center by March 1. If you are not a Rhode Island resident, check with your state’s department of education to learn about opportunities in your state.

If you are still eligible for aid after you have been considered for federal and state aid, colleges will usually award their own sources of financial aid. The college award is typically in the form of a college grant. College grants may be based on need, merit or some combination. Contact your college for details on their grant programs.

Below is a description of each grant program:

Federal Pell Grant

Description: Grant for financially needy undergraduates awarded through the college financial aid office. Grants do not need to be repaid.
Eligibility: U.S. Citizen/Permanent residents; full/part-time undergrad; need-based
Amount: Up to $5,645.
How to apply: Complete the
FAFSA by your school's specified deadline.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Description: Grant for financially needy undergraduates awarded through the school financial aid office. FSEOGs are awarded to the lowest income undergraduate students. Preference is given to Pell Grant recipients.
Eligibility: U.S. Citizen/Permanent residents; full/part-time undergrad; need-based
Amount: $4,000 maximum award; $100 minimum award
How to apply: Complete the
FAFSA by your school's specified deadline.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program

Description: New program for students who are enrolled in a teaching program and intend to teach full-time in a high-need area at a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Student must meet certain requirements after graduation or grant will need to be repaid as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan with interest accruing from date of each grant disbursement.
For U.S. Citizen or non-eligible citizen; undergraduate or graduate students at a participating schools. You must meet certain academic achievement requirements.
Amount: $4,000 maximum award per year; must sign agreement to serve each year; if fail meet teaching requirements after graduation, grants must be paid back as unsubsidized Stafford loan.
How to apply: Contact the financial aid office at your college if you are interested in this grant. You must complete the
FAFSA for eligibility but you do not have to prove financial need.

For more information on this grant, definitions of high need areas, and teaching requirements, click here.

Rhode Island State Grant

Description: A grant provided to financially needed students through the State of Rhode Island.
Eligibility: US citizens and eligible non-citizens; student must be a Rhode Island resident as of Jan 1 prior to the start of academic year student enrolled in school and meet other
eligibility requirements.
Amount: Awards range from $250 to $750 depending on the recipient's financial need. Amounts may change annually. 
How to apply: Student will be automatically considered for the grant if they meet all of the eligibility requirements and file their
FAFSA by March 1 before the upcoming academic year.

Learn more here.

Information on Massachusetts state grants
Information on
Connecticut state grants.

College/Institutional Grants

Description: A grant that is considered a gift from your school and may be awarded based on financial need, academic merit or some combination. Institutional grants often supplement federal awards to help financially needy students meet the total cost of attendance.
Amount: Up to your total cost of attendance. Your award will be determined by your school's procedures for awarding institutional grant aid and by their availability of funds.
How to apply: Find out what your school's procedures are for awarding institutional aid. Your school may require that you complete other financial forms in addition to the
FAFSA, such as the CSS Profile or institutional finiancial aid forms.