Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. As with Pell Grants, the FSEOG doesn’t have to be repaid. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the FAFSA
  • In order to receive an FSEOG, the student must first be eligible for a Pell grant.
  • Students carrying the lowest expected family contributions will be first considered for an FSEOG by the school’s financial aid office.

Students may receive between $100 and $4,000 a year based on timely FAFSA filing, total financial need, and availability of FSEOG funding at the school of attendance.

The school’s financial aid office is given great leeway for the awarding of FSEOG based on the financial need of the student body at the institution.

If eligible, the school will notify the student via an award letter. This notification will specifically list the total FSEOG amount that’s being awarded along with the method of distribution.

Schools must disburse FSEOG funds at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter).   Schools that don’t use semesters, trimesters, or quarters must disburse funds at least twice per academic year.

More on FSEOG: Financial aid offices are given some flexibility in the awarding of this funding. New incoming freshman shouldn’t be surprised if several award letters from different schools provide different FSEOG amounts. If the first choice school is awarding a lower FSEOG than some other schools offering funding, try to get it increased by sending a copy of the award letter and a brief appeal demonstrating the situation. The appeal should let the first choice school know that the student is motivated to attend, and wants reconsideration for at least as much FSEOG as other competing schools. The school may be unable to match the offer, but there’s no harm in submitting an appeal.

If you’re a continuing student and you notice that your FSEOG has been reduced from prior years, try writing an appeal letter to your financial aid office.  Federal need-based funding can change from year-to-year based on your FAFSA information, and a school may be able to amend an FSEOG award to some extent.  Some schools may not grant the request, while others may award a substantial amount based on the school’s policy/procedures and the amount of extra FSEOG funding that’s available.

Four areas to consider when making an FSEOG appeal include:

  1. Know and trust an administrator that will seriously consider the request.
  2. Send it as early as possible, as funding is limited.
  3. Email the appeal and confirm that it was received.
  4. Follow up and determine a processing time for a response.