Here’s some good news: Starting July 1st, the federal government will be increasing federal grants for college students. Some of this increase is coming from the Pell Grant, which will reach more students than ever in 2010. But there are also a new federal grant for dependent of US service men and women killed in the line of duty. Here’s a look at the changes you can expect in the fall semester.
About 617,000 more students will receive Pell Grants in 2010-2011 than last year. That’s a total of 8.4 million students who will receive a Pell Grant. The increase is due to a change in the way the federal government calculates eligibility for the Pell Grant. If your estimated family contribution (EFC) is up to $5273 and your total cost of attendance is at least $5,549, you will receive a minimum of $555 in Pell Grant. Last year, you had to have an EFC of no more than $4,617. This $656 change in EFC alone will reach 8,000 who previously didn’t qualify.
This year, the average Pell Grant recipient will receive $3,865, which is $220 more than last year’s average. The maximum Pell Grant will be $5,500, up from $5,300 last year.
Iraq & Afghanistan Service Grants
The federal government is also created a new grant to benefit child survivors of American service men and women who have died while serving in the armed forces in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9-11. Approximately 1,000 students are expected to qualify for the grant, which will provide $5,500 to each student. Qualifying for this new service grant does not exempt students from also qualifying for the Pell Grant or other federal grants.
To learn more about federal and military grants, check out the Financial Aid Finder’s in depth section on college grants. We cover federal, state and private grants to help you earn your college degree.