A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded usually only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. The amount you are awarded is calculated from the information provided on the FAFSA and will depend on your financial need, your cost to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
The maximum amount of Pell Grant an eligible student can receive each year is equal to 150% (50% fall, 50% spring and 50% summer) of the scheduled amount. The lifetime eligibility for Pell Grants is limited to a total of 12 full-time semesters. For more information and how to calculate the lifetime eligibility, visit the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility page.
To be eligible for Pell in the summer, eligible students must be enrolled a minimum of 6 credit hours in their degree program.
Note: Students whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept.11, 2001 are automatically eligible for the maximum Pell grant award. You must be under 24 years old or enrolled at least part-time in college at the time of your parent's or guardian's death.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFCs) will be considered first for a FSEOG. Just like Pell Grants, the FSEOG does not have to be repaid. SEOG award amounts are based on funding for per institution. These funds are limited and priority is given to the earliest qualifying applicants until the school's funds are depleted.
The TEACH Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing coursework to begin a career in teaching. You will be required to teach
- in a high-need field
- at an elementary school, secondary school or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families; and
- for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which you received the grant.
To be eligible for a TEACH Grant, you must
- Meet the basic eligibility criteria for the federal student aid programs,
- Complete the FAFSA
- Be enrolled in a TEACH-Grant-eligible program,
- Maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA,
- Complete TEACH Grant counseling that explains the terms and conditions of the service obligation, and
- Sign a TEACH Agreement to Serve.
High-Need Fields in Tennessee
- English as a Second Language
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
- Art and Music Education
- Health and Physical Fitness
- Support Staff
- World Languages
- Early Childhood
- Special Education
- Career and Technical Education
- any other field that has been identified as high-need by the federal government, state government, or local education agency and that is included in the annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide List
NOTE: If you do not meet the requirements of your service obligation, all TEACH Grants you received will be converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You must repay these loans in full, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Complete the TEACH Grant form.
- Complete and sign an Agreement to Serve and TEACH Grant counseling (required annually) at https://studentaid.gov/myDirectLoan/launchTeach.action
Award recipients must attend an eligible Tennessee school, college or university and be enrolled at least half time. You must list the eligible institution as your first choice on your FAFSA.
To be eligible, the applicant must
- complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and
- have a valid Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 5846 or less, and
- be a Tennessee resident, if a dependent student, parents must also be a Tennessee resident, and
- be enrolled at least half time at an eligible Tennessee postsecondary institution, and
- maintain institutional satisfactory academic progress according to the standards and practices of the institution, and
- not be in default on a loan or owe a refund on any grant previously received at any institution, and
- who have not received a baccalaureate degree.
To receive priority consideration, students are strongly encouraged to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1 each year.
Prior-year TSAA recipients (renewal awards) will receive the award if they meet all eligibility requirements and correctly complete the FAFSA on or before February 1. Remaining funds will be awarded to the neediest applicants who did not receive the award the prior year and correctly completed the FAFSA by February 1. Awards are based on the availability of funds and are made until those funds are depleted.