Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Updated June 8, 2019

Similar to the Pell Grant, FSEOG awards very low-income students anywhere between $100 and $4,000 a year based on the gravity of their needs and fund availability.

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The Federal Supplementary Education Opportunity Grant, or FSEOG as it commonly referred to, is one of the need-based grants awarded to low-income students.

FSEOG is often reserved for students with the least ability to pay — those with the greatest financial need.

Its primary purpose is for it to cover additional academic related expenses for those who cannot afford it but are dedicated to higher education.

Unlike the Pell Grant, FSEO is a campus-based aid, which means the Dept of Education provides a certain amount of funds for each participating school to administer FSEOG each year.1

Once all of the school’s FSEOG funds have been awarded to students, no more FSEOG awards can be made for that year. This is different from the Federal Pell Grant Program, which provides funds to every eligible student.

How do you qualify for FSEOG?

FSEOG is only given to very low-income students with exceptional need who could not otherwise afford to pay for their education expenses — and it doesn’t need to repaid.

Priority is given to those with “the absolute highest levels of need” — those with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and those who are also recipients of the Federal Pell Grant Program.

However, not all schools participate in the FSEOG program. You should check with your school’s financial aid office to see if your school participates before applying.

How do I apply for the FSEOG?

If you have submitted your FAFSA, you need not complete additional applications or file additional paperwork. Your application will automatically be evaluated for the FSEOG award.

The school’s financial aid office will determine whether you’re eligible based on your EFC as reported on your FAFSA and, if you are, how much money you’ll receive.

However, the grant is not automatically renewed each year — you must keep your FAFSA up to date to be considered each year and be sure to do so early because each participating school receives a very limited amount of FSEOG funds each year.

How much is the FSEOG grant?

FSEOG funds are given to the school as a way of supplementing Pell Grants for the neediest of students — and are very limited, so there is no guarantee that every Pell Grant eligible student will receive an award.

If you’re eligible, you may be awarded anywhere between $100 and $4,000 a year based on the gravity of your needs and fund availability. The average award is $600 per academic year.


While FSEOG is very similar to the Pell program, the FSEOG is more competitive and comes with a much stricter financial need guideline as only the neediest of students are awarded each year.

Regardless, the FSEOG offers one attractive option for single mothers with little finances at their disposal to afford the high cost of higher education.

References
  1. The federal government provides up to 75% of this money and the remaining is funded by the school that partakes in the program.
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