Like other types of financial aid programs, the only people eligible for a FSEOG Grant are families that demonstrate strict financial need. Anyone who proves that they can afford college tuition is ineligible for the FSEOG and Pell Grants. Financial need takes into account a family's income, size, assets, as well as the cost of tuition. If the cost of tuition is well above the Expected Family Contribution, a FSEOG Grant will be awarded.
In some cases this can put families in a bind. If a family is on the cusp of extreme financial need, a grant such as the FSEOG will not be awarded. However, keep in mind that even if you are not deemed eligible for a FSEOG, there are many other financial aid packages available—such as private grants, scholarships, non-federal financial aid, or work-study programs. Colleges may have less strict standards than the FAFSA guidelines.
So if you are deemed ineligible for the FSEOG Grant, you may still be eligible for grants in which you do not need to prove severe financial need. The FSEOG is only for families with an extreme gap between the cost of tuition and the expected family contribution. The FSEOG is meant to fill that gap.
The FSEOG is also meant to fill the gap between what is awarded for a Pell Grant and the cost of tuition. The maximum Pell Grant still might not cover many college expenses. The FSEOG is designed to supplement other types of grants and financial aid, rather than be the sole source of aid.
Eligibility Requirements for the FSEOG
The eligibility requirements for the FSEOG are similar to other types of financial aid. If you are not awarded a FSEOG Grant this does not mean that your search for financial aid should stop, as the requirements are fairly narrow. In order to determine eligibility, you need to fill out the FAFSA application. Your FSEOG eligibility will be determined by the information you submit on this form.
If circumstances change in the time you submit the FAFSA application—such as an increase in income–this can affect eligibility for the FSEOG. You also have to demonstrate academic progress. If sufficient academic progress is not demonstrated, the FSEOG Grant can be revoked.
How to Use FSEOG Grant?
You must also use the FSEOG Grant for tuition purposes only. Your signature on the FAFSA application is a certification that you will use aid funds towards a college education. If it is determined that funds were used for another purpose, the grant can be revoked.
Deadlines are also vital to the application process. If you do not submit a FAFSA application by a priority deadline, you may not receive the full amount of a FSEOG Grant, as these are awarded on a first come, first served basis.