How to Get FSEOG Aid for College: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you a student looking for additional financial aid to support your undergraduate education? Look no further than the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

In this article, we will explore what FSEOG awards are, how to apply for them, eligibility criteria, the application process, and the key differences between FSEOG and Pell Grants. So, let’s dive in and discover how FSEOG can help you in your academic journey!

Understanding FSEOG Awards

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are awarded to undergraduate students and don’t need to be repaid. The amount of FSEOG aid awarded is determined by the extent of the student’s financial need. Additional factors considered include the other financial aid you receive and what other financial aid is available through the particular college.

How to Apply for FSEOG

Step 1: Plan Ahead and Apply for FAFSA®

To ensure you have the best chance of securing an FSEOG, it’s crucial to plan ahead. The first and most important step is to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) as soon as possible, preferably when it opens on October 1st each year. This early application is essential because each school receives a limited amount of FSEOG funds for each academic year.

Step 2: Check Your Eligibility

To be eligible for an FSEOG award, you must demonstrate significant financial need based on your FAFSA® application. Students with a low Expected Family Contribution (EFC) are given priority. FSEOG grants are typically awarded to students who are also eligible for Federal Pell Grants and have the highest financial need.

Step 3: Meet Additional Eligibility Criteria

FSEOG student aid is only available to students who haven’t already graduated with a bachelor’s or another professional degree. Other eligibility criteria for the FSEOG include:

  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • Have never defaulted on other student loans
  • Your grades meet a minimum requirement, usually a 2.0 GPA or above
  • FAFSA® completion

How is FSEOG Awarded?

Students who are recipients of an FSEOG award will be paid at least once during the school year. Options for payment include direct deposit into the student’s account, paid directly to the student, or some combination of the two.

Tips for Applying for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Apply Early, Secure Your Chance

Applying for FAFSA® as early as possible is crucial for maximizing your chances of receiving an FSEOG award. Remember, the funds available to each school are limited. Applying early gives you a better opportunity to secure a portion of those funds before they are exhausted.

Consider the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE

In addition to the FAFSA®, it’s worth checking whether the colleges you’re applying to require the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE form. Some schools use this form to determine non-federal aid options. Submitting both the FAFSA® and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, if applicable, can improve your financial aid prospects

Do I Have to Repay Back Grants?

Under normal circumstances, you don’t have to pay grants back. There are some situations that may require partial payback of a federal grant. These include:

  • A student withdraws early from the educational program and/or school that they received the grant for.
  • There was a change in enrollment status that affected the student’s eligibility.
  • The student received some additional scholarships or grants that reduced the need for federal grants.

It’s important to pay close attention to the eligibility requirements and ensure you remain eligible for the entire academic year. If you’re receiving FSEOG, you are receiving a Pell Grant. If you have to repay a portion of that and default, it will disqualify you from receiving any future federal student financial aid.

If you have defaulted on a guaranteed student loan or still owe a refund on a federal grant, you may still be disqualified from FSEOG eligibility. You need to verify specific requirements with the school you are attending. Some schools may consider eligibility, but you have to provide a written release from the loan agency or U.S. Department of Education. This applies regardless of whether or not you’re in default of the repayment.

What’s the Difference between FSEOG and Pell Grants?

FSEOG grants funds to participating schools, and they are designed to be a supplement to the Pell Grants to students most in need of financial assistance. Not every school participates in the FSEOG and those that do must make contributions to the grant program. The federal government sets aside three dollars, and the institution has to contribute one dollar.

The Pell Grant is awarded by the government whereas the FSEOG is awarded by the school to the student. And, students cannot receive FSEOG funds unless they have received a Pell Grant.

If you’re a student in need of extra financial aid and want to increase your chances of getting FSEOG student assistance, it’s best to talk to the schools you’re applying to and see if they offer the grant. Another way to ensure the best financial aid package is to make sure to file your FAFSA® as soon as the application opens for the new school year on October 1st.


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) provide a valuable source of financial aid for undergraduate students in need.

By understanding the application process, eligibility criteria, payment procedures, and the differences between FSEOG and Pell Grants, you can maximize your chances of securing this additional support. So, be proactive, apply early, and pave the way for a brighter future with FSEOG!

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