FAFSAThe Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form you need to fill out to get any financial aid from the federal government, such as the SMART Grant and the Academic Competitiveness Grant. Submitting the FAFSA is the most important thing you can do if you want financial aid. The FAFSA is free. FAFSA allows you to potentially qualify for grants of up to $4000 in value. There are ways in which you can obtain and submit a FAFSA form. These include the FAFSA website, myStudentAid App (available on iTunes and Google Play Store), printing and filling out the FAFSA form and then mailing it to the address on the form. It’s best to complete and submit the FAFSA form online or on the app. These options provide helpful tips to help you understand the questions, making them easier to fill out and apply. It is crucial to know the deadlines of the application. You fill in the application the year before you need the financial aid. So make sure to look for the deadline on their website and submit your application before the closing date.
SMART GrantThe SMART Grant is a federal grant established in 2005 and has a value of up to $4000. The grant is a need-based program with the ability to double a student’s federal grant money. This grant can be received in addition to the Pell Grant (although the total amount for the two grants cannot exceed the total expenses for the period). National SMART Grants are available to students for their third and fourth academic years of undergraduate studies. There is no fixed number of grants awarded to students because not every student qualifies for the total amount of $4000. There is, however, a set amount allocated by the government each year for the program. The number of applicants and the number of awardees are not always the same. While you might meet all the requirements for the grant, if the money provided by the government runs out, you will not receive anything.
Applying for SMART GrantApplying for the SMART Grant is not complicated. First, you need to fill out and submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application at your school’s finance faculty by their specific closing date. Here are a couple of ways in which you can obtain and apply for FAFSA. You can apply online, which is the most efficient and most straightforward way to go, or you can complete your FAFSA by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID or 334-523-2691. By filling out a FAFSA form, you are applying for all federal grant programs available. To be eligible for the SMART Grant, you need to meet the following requirements. You:
- Can be a senior or a junior in college
- Must be attending an accredited school
- Should be pursuing a major in the following: Engineering, mathematic, technology, life sciences, physical sciences, and computer sciences. You can also be pursuing a major in a foreign language deemed critical to America’s national security.
- Must be a full-time student.
- Take a minimum of one course required to attain your major, and you must complete it in the year you receive the SMART Grant.
- Must have and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 while you have the SMART Grant award.
Academic Competitiveness GrantThe Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 and the Smart Grant. The goal of the federal student aid program is to assist students who have displayed academic ability and require financial assistance to help pay for college. This grant is available to those eligible students in their first and second years of college. The program is both need- and merit-based. Students get $750 for their first year of undergraduate study and $1 300 for their second year of undergraduate study. The ACG can also combine with the Pell Grant, as with the SMART Grant, and the two together may not exceed the student’s cost of attendance.
Applying for ACGGo to www.fafsa.ed.org to find and fill out a FAFSA application form. To be eligible for the ACG, you need to meet the following requirements. You must:
- Qualify for the Pell Grant.
- Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen (permanent resident)
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and maintain it.
- Have completed a rigorous secondary school program of studies.
Rigorous StudiesParticipation in a rigorous secondary school program may qualify a postsecondary student to receive an ACG if otherwise eligible. All students may qualify for an ACG under the rigorous secondary school program of study options. The following secondary school programs are rigorous:
- Four years of English
- Three years of mathematics, including Algebra 1 and a higher-level class such as algebra 2, geometry, data analysis, and statistics
- Three years of science, including one year each of at least two of the following courses: life sciences, chemistry, and physics
- One year of a foreign language that has been deemed critical to America’s national security
- Three years of social studies