Federal Grants

Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded 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. There are limits on the maximum amount you are eligible to receive each academic year and in total (aggregate Pell Grant limit).

The EFC calculated by the FAFSA determines if the student is Pell-eligible and the amount the student is entitled to. To qualify for a Pell grant, the Office of Financial Aid must receive a valid FAFSA while the student is enrolled. If the FAFSA is received after the semester is over, the Pell grant awarded must be based upon completed credits.

Effective with the Fall 2012 semester, students are now limited to 12 semesters (600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. In December 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This law has significantly impacted the Pell Grant Program.

  • Available to undergraduate students with no prior bachelor's or professional degree
  • The maximum award for 2015–16 year is $5,775
  • The highest Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) a student can have and receive the Pell Grant is $5,158.
  • The amount of each Federal Pell Grant depends on your financial need, cost of education, and your enrollment status
  • The amount reported on your award letter is based on student’s enrollment at the time the award letter is generated. If you are enrolled for less than full-time, your award will be adjusted accordingly (6-8 credits = 1/2 Pell, 9-11 credits = 3/4 Pell and 12+ credits = full-time Pell)

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Available to Pell eligible undergraduate students with exceptional financial need

The amount awarded is determined by the student's need and the availability of funds at the Univesity.

To apply for the grant, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Notre Dame's priority deadline of February 15. This grant is awarded on a priority basis using the FAFSA receipt date and based on the availability of funds.

TEACH Grant Program

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000* per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families in a high need subject area.

*Due to sequestration, TEACH grant awards where the first disbursement is made after October 1, 2014, must be reduced by 7.3% from the award amount for which the student would otherwise have been eligible to receive.

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a post secondary educational institution
  • Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework. Such coursework may include subject area courses (e.g., math courses for a student who intends to be a math teacher)
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25)
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (see below for more information on the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve)
  • If you meet these requirements, fill out a TEACH Grant Application and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid.

Additional Information

The Department of Education's Annual Directory of Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits includes both elementary and secondary schools.

Other identified teacher shortage areas can be found at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.doc.

High-need fields include:

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • Science
  • Special Education

For further information, please see http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/TEACH.jsp or email the Office of Financial Aid.

TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve

If you are eligible to receive the TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that is available electronically on the Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed.

For each TEACH Grant-eligible program for which the student received TEACH Grant funds,you must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you completed or withdrew from the academic program for which you received the TEACH Grant. You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

A student whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Additional Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant due only to having less financial need than is required to receive Pell funds, and
  • Be under 24 years old, or
  • Enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death.

The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Pell Grant for the award year – not to exceed the cost of attendance for that award year.

Grants are similar to scholarships in that they are free financial aid that you are not required to repay. Grants are awarded through federal, state, or University funds to students with high financial need.

Information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine eligibility for the federal, state and institutional grants

Institutional Grants

Retention Grant

  • Available to full-time undergraduate students who have exhausted all other sources of aid
  • Requires financial need (as determined by FAFSA)
  • Student must have completed at least 15 credits at Notre Dame and have a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Awards up to $5,000/year
  • Non-renewable
  • Requires a separate application (student must meet with the Director of Financial Aid)