If you are in college or considering applying to college, you may have heard people refer to the FSEOG, or the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. This article explains what the FSEOG Grant is, who is eligible to receive it, and how to apply for it.

What is the FSEOG?

The FSEOG is a special grant that assists undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. The award can range from $100 to $4,000 each year and is administered by participating campus financial aid offices. Not all colleges participate in the FSEOG program, so you should check with your financial aid office to find out if your school offers FSEOG funds.

Who is eligible to receive FSEOG funding?

FSEOG Grants are designed to help low-income undergraduate students with “exceptional need.” The Department of Education advises that schools “must give priority to those students with ‘exceptional need’ (those with the lowest Expected Family Contributions, or EFCs, at the institution) and those who are also federal Pell Grant recipients.” Generally, if you qualify for a Pell Grant, and your school offers FSEOG funding, you will be eligible to receive an FSEOG award. Graduate students are not currently eligible for FSEOG funding.

How do you apply for an FSEOG Grant?

The most important part of the FSEOG application process is completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you complete the FAFSA, you will receive notification if you are eligible for FSEOG funds. In order to continue receiving FSEOG funds, you must update the FAFSA each academic year. School participation in FSEOG funding also varies by year, so you should confirm your school’s participation on a yearly basis, as well.

How are FSEOG awards distributed?

As campus-based financial aid, FSEOG awards are disbursed by individual financial aid offices at least once per academic term. If your school does not follow standard academic terms such as semesters, trimesters, or quarters, it must nevertheless disburse FSEOG awards at least twice each academic year. FSEOG awards are typically made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who funds these awards?

FSEOG awards receive funding both from the federal government and from individual educational institutions. Participating institutions contribute one dollar for each three dollars of FSEOG funding allocated from the federal government. Individual awards are made directly from undergraduate financial aid offices.

Do you need to repay an FSEOG award?

No. As a grant, the FSEOG does not require repayment. An FSEOG award will in no way increase your existing student debt obligations. The FSEOG is not considered taxable income and need not be reported on your state or federal income tax return.

The FSEOG program is available to assist undergraduates in need of additional economic assistance. The application process is relatively easy, and these awards do not require repayment. Therefore, it is in your interest to contact your financial aid office to see if your school participates in the FSEOG program.