Eligibility for grant aid is based on financial need as determined through information provided on the FAFSA. Grant awards are given to qualifying students and, except under extremely limited conditions, do not need to be repaid. See each program's website for application instructions.
The two largest grant programs are:
- Federal Pell Grant — Available almost exclusively to undergraduates. Eligible students will receive the Federal Pell Grant amount they qualify based on financial need. Estimated annual awards (fall/spring) range from $303 to $5,920 (2017-18). The Federal Pell Grant is prorated based on the number of enrolled credit hours.
- The U.S. Department of Education has implemented "year-round pell" for eligible students. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduates). Eligible students can receive Pell in the summer, fall, and spring terms without the spring portion reduced IF the student has 450% or more of remaining Pell Grant eligibility. If the student has less than 500% of remaining Pell Grant eligibility, the amount of Pell used by the student during the summer term will directly reduce the amount of Pell Grant available to the student in the spring term. Note: students are limited to 600% (12 semesters) of Pell Grant eligibility. (Students can check their Pell Grant usage here.)
- Ohio College Opportunity Grant — Offered to students who are Ohio residents. The grants are also prorated based on full or part-time enrollment status.
Other federal grant programs include:
- The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) — These grants are only awarded to students who meet the strict need guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education, and submit the FAFSA by March 1. You must be Pell eligible to receive this grant.
- The TEACH Grant — A federal grant program for students planning to be teachers in a high need field within a low-income school. The University of Akron has set additional specifications for TEACH Grant recipients. Learn more.