There are four types of federal grants available to eligible students who complete the FAFSA and demonstrate financial need.
Federal Pell Grant
The Pell Grant is a federally funded grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Apply by completing the FAFSA.
- Based on financial need, eligibility and awards are determined by Expected Family Contribution (EFC), enrollment status, and NIU's cost of attendance (COA).
- Annual awards vary for full-time undergraduates. For the 2022-2023 academic year range from $692 up to $6895. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the amounts range from $672 up to $6,495.
- Awarded to students with an EFC less than $6206 (for 2022-2023) and $5,801 (for 2021-2022)
- Awards are offered based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credit hours) and will be reduced for three-quarter-time, half-time, or less than half-time enrollment.
- Available to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree or professional degree.
- Students who do not receive their full Federal Pell Grant award during the fall and spring terms may be eligible for the remaining amount if they attend classes during the summer. Students who received their full award during the fall and spring may receive additional Federal Pell Grant if enrolled at least half-time in the summer.
Read more about Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grant Recalculation Date (PRD)
The Pell Recalculation Date (sometimes referred to as the census date) is a date in the semester when the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office is required to evaluate a student’s Federal Pell Grant eligibility based on their current enrollment status. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office has a single PRD, which is the last date of the university add/drop period (the end of week two of the payment period), after which no Federal Pell Grant recalculations occur due to enrollment status adjustments made by the student.
Any enrollment changes recorded after the PRD for these students will not translate into any changes to their already awarded Federal Pell Grant. Students can still see changes to other types of aid in their awards (MAP, Merit, Direct Loans, etc.).
Pell eligibility may still be recalculated by the institution if required due to an EFC change, or non-attendance.
Students Who Are Packaged After the PRD
Federal Pell Grant recipients who are packaged after the PRD would be awarded based on actual enrollment hours at the time of packaging. Some things to consider:
- All withdrawn courses (grade of W) would not be counted towards Federal Pell Grant eligibility
- All courses that resulted in a failing grade (F) must verify student’s attendance prior to factoring it towards Pell eligibility
- All audit courses would not be counted
- If the student was initially packaged prior to the PRD but the award was later cancelled, this would be considered as a “reinstatement” of award. The reinstated award would take precedence over the recalculation.
- For students who are appealing their SAP status for Title IV eligibility, any previously established award will also take precedence over a recalculated one. If the student was never packaged, then only actual enrollment would be considered.
Calculating the Number of Years You Can Receive a Pell Grant
Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, you may receive a Pell Grant for the equivalent of six years. If you are near or over the limit, we encourage you to meet with an academic advisor and set up a course plan for graduation. It is important to take the lifetime limit of the Pell Grant into consideration when changing majors and/or scheduling classes. Plan your degree progress carefully to graduate in a timely manner.
- If Department of Education records indicate you have received more than four-and-a-half years of Pell Grant funding (more than 450% but less than 500%), you can still receive the maximum amount of your 2021-2022 Pell Grant award. However, if you continue to be Pell Grant eligible, you will not be able to receive the full amount of your eligible award for the 2021-2022 school year.
- If Department of Education records indicate you have received more than five years of Pell Grant funding (more than 500% but less than 600%), the amount of your 2021-2022 Pell Grant award will be less than the full annual amount.
- If Department of Education records indicate you have already received at least six years of Pell Grant funding (more than 600%), you are no longer eligible to receive Pell Grant funding.
If you are affected by this rule, you will receive an email from the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office and your awards will be updated on your MyNIU account.
You can check your Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) on the Federal Student Aid website using your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). You can find the LEU on the Financial Aid Review page.
Visit the Department of Education website or call 1-800-4-FED-AID to understand how the "equivalent of six years" is calculated.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The FSEOG is a federally funded grant awarded by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.
- Apply by completing the FAFSA.
- Priority given to students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFC) and who are also Pell Grant recipients.
- Awards amounts vary.
- Students must be enrolled at least nine hours.
- Available to eligible undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree or professional degree.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year in grant assistance to junior and senior undergraduates and graduate students who agree to serve for at least four years as full-time “highly qualified” teachers in high-need fields in public or private elementary or secondary schools that serve students from low-income families.
The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office recommends you consider this possible source of funds only if you are committed to teaching a high-need subject in a designated low-income school upon graduation should. This teaching obligation must be completed in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school that is eligible for Title I assistance.
If you do not meet the four-year teaching obligation within eight years of graduation, the grant will convert to an unsubsidized loan, which will have to be repaid with interest calculated back to the date the funds were disbursed.
Read more about TEACH Grants
- Not need-based, but you must apply by completing the FAFSA.
- You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Available to undergraduate juniors and seniors and graduate students. Students-at-large and post-baccalaureate students are not eligible.
- Awards are $4,000 each year, prorated for students enrolled less than full-time.
- You must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 to be eligible and maintain a 3.25 GPA through the academic program.
- You must complete TEACH Grant counseling and sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay. Grant recipients agree to teach for at least four years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program and to teach high-need subjects in designated schools that serve low-income students.
- You must complete a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program form each year and enroll in a teacher education certificate program in one of the following areas:
- Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
- Foreign Language
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
Eligible students will be notified through their NIU Z-ID e-mail address.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
You may be eligible for an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant if your parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan. The maximum award amount is equal to the amount of a maximum Federal Pell Grant for the award year but cannot exceed your cost of attendance for that year. For the 2022-2023 award year (July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023), the maximum award amount is $6895. For the 2021-2022 award year (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022), the maximum award amount is $6,495. For additional eligibility guidelines and award information, visit the Federal Student Aid website