Federal Grants

Types of Grants

A Federal Pell grant is money from the federal government that you do not need to repay. They are awarded to undergraduate students who display financial need.

How Much Money Can I Receive? 
Your Pell grant amount is determined by:

  • Your EFC
  • Your status as a full or part-time student
  • Your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less

How Do I Apply?

To apply, submit your FAFSA. No other paperwork is necessary.

Students who have received the equivalent of 12 or more full-time semesters of Federal Pell grant will no longer be eligible for federal grant funding (starting July 2012.)

Students who have already earned their first bachelor's degree are not eligible for additional Federal Pell Grant funding.

A federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity grant (FSEOG) is for undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional financial need and are receiving the Pell grant. Similar to the Pell grant, the supplemental grant does not need to be paid back.

What is the difference between the FSEOG and the Pell Grant?

The U.S. Department of Education guarantees that each participating school will receive enough money to pay the federal Pell grant for each eligible student.  There is no guarantee that every eligible student will receive the FSEOG.  Students are paid based on availability of funds.

How Do I Apply?

To apply, submit your FAFSA. No other paperwork is necessary.  Because of the limited nature of these funds, the key to receiving this grant is to apply for FAFSA as early as you can.

A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is different from other federal student grants because it requires you to take certain kinds of classes in order to get the grant, and then work a certain kind of job to keep the grant from turning into a loan.

If TEACH grant recipients do not fulfill their teaching obligations they must repay the grant as if it was an unsubsidized federal Direct loan including all accrued interest.

Am I Eligible?

Undergraduate students must have an overall GPA of 3.25 or score in the 75th percentile on at least one admissions test. GPA requirements do not apply to graduate students who are currently teachers or who are retiring and have expertise in a subject where there is a shortage of teachers. Graduate students completing a high-quality teacher certification, like Teach for America, are also eligible for this program.

How Do I Apply?

  1. Submit your FAFSA
  2. Contact us to offer a federal TEACH grant on your account
  3. Complete the TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling online
  4. Accept the TEACH grant on MyUSU
  5. Sign the TEACH Grant Agreement To Serve or Repay (Agreement) online

If your parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan, you may be eligible for an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Under the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship, beginning with the 2018-2019 award year, a Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year for which the determination of eligibility is made.


  • Students that submit a FAFSA, have an EFC (Expected Family Contribution), and are eligible for Pell Grants.
  • Be less than 24 years old OR enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of their parent or permanent guardian’s death.
  • The deceased parent must have died in the line of duty as a Public Safety Officer.
To Apply
1. Submit a FAFSA
2. Review the eligibility requirements to verify your eligibility
3. Complete the Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Form
4. Securely upload your completed form

The process can be renewed annually with each FAFSA, as long as you maintain Pell eligibility and are under 24 years old.

How do I accept my Grant?

All grants (with the exception of the TEACH Grant) are accepted for you when you register for USU classes. All federal aid (including any grant money) disburses one week before your classes are scheduled to begin. If you do not see your aid applied to your account within 1 week of the first day of the semester, please contact us.

TEACH Grant: 

  1. After submitting your FAFSA, contact us to verify your eligibility. If you qualify, we will offer a federal TEACH grant on your account
  2. Accept the TEACH grant on MyUSU
  3. Complete the TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling online
  4. Sign the TEACH Grant Agreement To Serve or Repay (Agreement) online

Your Grant May Adjust During the Term

Grants are disbursed according to your enrollment status and the number of credits you are registered for on the last day to add classes.

To receive the full amount you have been offered for your Pell Grant, you must be enrolled in 12 or more credits per semester. Depending on your EFC, your grant may not pay any money if you are enrolled in 11 or less credits. Contact our office to learn how your grant amount will be impacted if you plan to enroll in 11 or less credits for the semester.

Up until the end of the 3rd week of the fall or spring semester, grants increase or decrease based on the number of credits you are enrolled in. If the total number of credits you are enrolled in changes when you add or drop a class, your grant may adjust and change your account balance. 

Summer Exception
There is an exception to this policy during summer term due to the multiple number of summer sessions and workshops. During summer term, Federal Pell grants will continue to increase or decrease based on enrollment until the last day to add of the student's final or latest session.

After the end of the 3rd week of the fall or spring semester, grants may be reduced during the term if you fail or withdraw from (W grade) a class with no proof of academic participation.

Federal regulations allow students to receive aid for only one repeat of a previously passed class. This does not prevent you from taking a class as many times as you need. However, when you register, Banner will disregard any such repeated classes when disbursing aid.

For example, if you received a D in Math 1050, and wished to improve your grade, you can receive aid for one repeat of that class.  Once you have taken it again - even if you still need a higher grade for your major - aid will not be available for that class again.

This regulation may not apply if you did not receive federal aid the previous time(s) you took the course. You can work with your assigned Federal Aid Counselor if this is the case.

The option for verifying academic participation is not available during the refund period, where dropping a class will not result in a W grade on the transcript. Also, a student cannot document participation for classes that have not officially begun; for example, if you drop a second 7-week session course during the first seven weeks of the semester, you cannot document that you participated academically in that course.

Q. What grants are affected?
All federal grants (Federal Pell, SEOG). Federal Pell grants usually require at least one credit to disburse.

Q. If I drop classes during the first 20% of the term (refund period,) will I owe money back? 
Yes. If your enrollment status drops (for example, from full-time to three-quarter time) after we have disbursed your grant to you, some (or all) of your grant may be reduced. You will have to pay part (or all) of your grant back to USU. Please note if you drop classes before they officially start (for example: classes in the second 7-week session) you will also have have to pay part (or all) of your grant back. In some cases, a tuition refund may be enough to repay the grant.

Q. What happens if I drop a class that hasn't started yet. 
Some classes don't start until later in the semester. You cannot keep Federal Pell grant for a class that you dropped before it starts even if the semester is already in session.

Q. What happens if I add classes to make up for the ones I drop?
If you add classes to make up for the ones your drop, you may not have to repay the grant. 

Q. When will I have to pay the grant back?
Grants are generally reversed on your account within 1-2 weeks of the withdrawal date. You may be prevented from registering, getting a transcript, or graduating until you repay.

Q. Will grants increase as well as decrease?
Yes. For example, if you start the semester at half-time and add enough credits during the first 20% of the term to full-time enrollment, your grant will increase to a full-time amount automatically. You should see an increase in your account the following day.

Q. What if I add classes later in the semester.  
It depends. If you were already registered in other courses, grants will not pay for any new courses added after the first three weeks of the term. If you enroll later in the semester, you may be eligible for a Pell grant payment.

Q. What if I withdraw from classes (W Grade) after the third week? 
If you withdraw from a course, your grant may be reduced if USU cannot determine that you started the course. If you document academic participation, the grant may be reinstated.* However, you will still receive a W for courses you drop after the last day to add. Withdrawing from a course(s) will affect your Satisfactory Academic Progress and may result in a suspension of federal aid later on.

*Please note: classes dropped during their refund period do not receive a W grade on a student's transcript and cannot be reinstated by documenting participation. Some classes don't start until later in the semester. You cannot keep Federal Pell grant for a class that you dropped before it started.

Q. What happens if I drop all of my classes?

Students who completely withdraw from the University during the semester are required to return all of their federal aid if they did not participate academically in any of their courses. Students who participated academically before withdrawing must still return a percentage of their federal aid to USU. All types of Federal Financial Aid are included in the repayment, including: Federal Pell Grants, Supplemental Grants, Perkins Loans, and Direct Loans. Full policy