Unlike student loans, grants typically do not have to be repaid. It is simply money that financially needy students may qualify for to help pay for educational expenses. This is a great type of financial assistance.

Federal PELL

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. Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added.

The U.S. Congress has established a lifetime limit on the amount of Pell Grants a student may receive. This limit applies to all Pell Grant recipients, including existing students who have received Pell Grants in the past. In other words, continuing students are unable to be “grandfathered” under the regulations in place when they started receiving the Pell Grant.

Starting in 2012-2013, the Pell Grant lifetime limit is 600%. Each academic year represents 100%, so a student may receive a full-time Pell Grant for 12 semesters or 6 years. The table below provides an example.

# of financial aid eligible credits enrolled (% of annual Pell)
 Fall Spring Summer % Pell
12 (50%) 13 (50%) 0 100%
6 (25%) 7 (25%) 0 50%
12 (50%) 8 (25%) 6 (25%) 100%
6 (25%) 7 (25%) 8 (25%) 75%
9 (37.5%) 9 (37.5%) 0 75%
9 (37.5%) 9 (37.5%) 6 (25%) 100%
      Total: 500%

Total Pell after 6 years: 500%
Student has remaining Pell eligibility for future semesters - 500% of 600% used.


Federal SEOG

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is designed to provide additional assistance to students. To be eligible, a student must complete the FAFSA, have the lowest EFC possible and be enrolled full time. Funding for the SEOG grant is limited, so apply as soon as possible.


Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant is a state sponsored program designed to help pay tuition costs. To be eligible, a student must be enrolled in at least six hours and be a resident of Oklahoma. Application is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).