With the cost of education continually rising, some students in lower income brackets can be forced out of the possibility of earning academic certificates. Fortunately the federal government does offer funding in the form of grants to enable these students to earn the certificates they need.

The Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant enables students from lower income families to pursue either degrees or educational certification. The Pell Grant funding is determined by the size of the family, their income and how many children are attending college. Other factors are also considered, but heavy emphasis is placed on a family’s ability to pay. Pell Grants range in size from $300 to over $5,000.

Pell Grant Box 84 Washington, DC 20044 (800) 433-3243 studentaid.ed.gov

Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant

The Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant awards additional funds for students that are already eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. This grant is based on academic achievement. To qualify the student must be enrolled in either a degree or certificate program, be a Federal Pell Grant recipient, have completed a rigorous secondary education program and currently be in the first or second year of study. Those students applying in their second year of study must have a minimum G.P.A. of a 3.0.

Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (800) 4-FED-AID studentaid.ed.gov

Federal Supplemental Equal Opportunities Grant

The Federal Supplemental Equal Opportunities Grant offers funding for those in the most extreme financial need. Federal Pell Grant recipients that demonstrate extreme economic need are considered first and then the funding is open to others. The funding can be used for students pursuing degree or certificate programs. The amounts rewarded vary according to financial need, which is determined by the U.S. Department of Education.

Federal Supplemental Equal Opportunities Grant U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Ave., SW Washington, DC 20202 (800) 872-5327 2.ed.gov

Financial Aid for Native Americans

Government grants are available that specifically help Native Americans pursue academic degree and certificate programs. The funding is given through the Bureau of Indian affairs as a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Grants are given in various amounts and applicant are expected to prove their lineage to a Native American tribe.

Financial Aid for Native Americans The Bureau of Indian Affairs Department of the Interior 1849 C. St., NW Washington, DC 20240 (202) 208-3710 bia.gov