Trying to afford college is a complicated reality that many people across the state of Florida find themselves confronted with. Fifty-three percent of Floridians applied for FAFSA in 2021; in many circumstances, it still hasn’t been enough. The costs of getting an education continue to skyrocket, leaving those who want to avoid taking out student loans and getting into crippling debt with limited options to work with. But aspiring students in Florida have a tool that can help them gain access to the funds they need.
If you live in Florida and are looking for additional resources to pay for your education, the Florida Student Assistance Grant may be able to help. If you’re at your wit’s end about paying for school, here are a few points of the Florida Student Assistance Grant and if it can be what you need to open doors to your educational opportunities.
Table of Contents
- What Is The Florida Student Assistance Grant?
- What Are The Requirements For The Florida Student Assistance Grant?
- Where You Can Use The Grant
- How Are Funds Disbursed
- Is There a Renewal Process?
- How Much Aid You May Receive
- Is The Same Amount Awarded Each Year?
- Can You Lose Eligibility To The FSAG?
- If Requirements Aren’t Met
What Is The Florida Student Assistance Grant?
It’s a well-known fact that paying for college can be stressful. Over the years, many factors have contributed to significant jumps in tuition and have had long-lasting effects on students. The Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) is a state-funded program designed to help Florida students demonstrate significant financial need.
The grant is aimed to help offset some of the costs that come with college and lessen the financial blow that paying for college can take on some families.
What Are The Requirements For The Florida Student Assistance Grant?
Before you can understand how the Florida Student Assistance Grant may benefit you, it’s crucial for you to understand its guidelines first. Before applying for the grant, you’ll need to complete a FAFSA application (Freel Application For Federal Student Aid). You’ll need to have essential information on hand while you’re filling out your FAFSA application, such as your income tax returns, social security number, and if you aren’t a U.S citizen, your alien registration number.
You’ll also have to meet other criteria to be eligible to receive the grant, which include
- Being enrolled in at least 6-credit hours of a degree-seeking program
- Being a Florida resident for 12 months prior to your application
- Meeting requirements for selective service
- Having no loans in default
- Meet CLAST requirements (College-level academic skills test)
- Maintaining a GPA of at least 2.0
- Have a contribution less than state requirements
Where You Can Use The Grant
The Florida Student Assistance Grant has a great deal of flexibility.
Unlike other programs, the FSAG is eligible for use at every state university and community college across Florida, making the grant a crucial tool to help under-privledged Floridians pay for some school-school related expenses.
How Are Funds Disbursed
Disbursements for the FSAG can come at the beginning of either the fall or spring semesters of each academic year. But, it’s worth noting that summer classes may be tricky to navigate because of limited funding.
If funds are available for disbursement, you will have had to attend both fall and spring courses to be eligible. Keep in mind that while you may get funding for one summer term, there is no guarantee that you’ll receive a summer disbursement the following year.
Is There a Renewal Process?
You can be considered for renewal of the FSAG If you’ve completed your FAFSA before the deadline of each semester. At which point you may need to apply for the grant once more.
Like summer disbursements, renewing of your FSAG award depends on available funding, and is not always guaranteed from year-to-year.
How Much Aid You May Receive
The amount of money in your grant depends on several factors. First, your school has a say in how much grant money you can receive. Schools take into account your financial situation as it currently stands, not necessarily how it was before, to determine your level of need.
Also, the amount you receive is dependent upon how much grant money is available at the state level. The minimum amount FSAG applicants receive is $200, but some applicants may receive up to $2600, but your total amount depends on the available funds, your level of need and how your school applies your income information.
Is The Same Amount Awarded Each Year?
As your financial circumstances change, it could affect how much grant money you receive.
If you’ve experienced a bump in your income, It may be best to brace yourself and prepare to receive a bit less grant money than you did previously.
Similar to disbursements and renewal, the amount you receive depends on funding, so preparing for fluctuations is crucial.
Can You Lose Eligibility To The FSAG?
In a similar way to the application process, it’s essential to maintain the qualifications that the FSAG requires. For instance, maintaining a grade point average of 2.0 is one of the stipulations of maintaining your eligibility. Also, maintaining your eligibility for the grant depends on
- The number of credit hours you’re enrolled in
- Completing FAFSA on time
- Financial aid guidelines set by your school
If Requirements Aren’t Met
While no one wants to find themselves in this situation, there are some instances where life happens, preventing you from meeting the requirements of the FSAG. If you find yourself in this situation, there could be a few outcomes.
First, those who don’t maintain an adequate number of credit hours risk losing out on funding in the next academic year. And those who cannot maintain the minimum GPA can see a decrease in funding, or get a probationary award for the remainder of the academic year.
If you aren’t able to meet the requirements and incur penalties, you’ll have to do a bit of work to get your grant reinstated. This can involve applying for restoration while you do your best to meet the eligibility requirements of the grant.
The FSAG is a vital tool to help Floridians in need avalanche their education. While the cost of going to college is high, having financial resources in your corner can help you offset some of the financial burdens that come with continued education