News Release Details

4/28/2006

Department of Education announces two new grants for college students

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By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA) provides two new grant programs for full-time students at degree-granting institutions (like EAC) who are eligible for Federal Pell Grants and are U.S. citizens. The first grant, called the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) will be available for the 2006-07 award year to EAC students. The second grant, called the Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant is available only to third and fourth year college students so won’t be offered at EAC. However, EAC students who are transferring on to a four-year college may be eligible.

“Getting the ACG grant is simple for those students who qualify,” said EAC’s Director of Finacial Aid, Gerry Covert. “All they have to do is fill out their FAFSA form and the Department of Ed will let them know if they may qualify. No special or additional application form is required.”

The ACG grant provides an additional $750 for first-year students and $1300 for second-year students. To be eligible for each academic year, a student must: • be a U.S. citizen;

• be a Federal Pell Grant recipient;

• be enrolled full-time in a degree program;

• be enrolled in the first or second academic year of his or her program of study at a two-year or four-year degree-granting institution;

• have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study (after January 1, 2006, if a first-year student, and after January 1, 2005, if a second-year student);

• not have been previously enrolled in an undergraduate program; and

• have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for the first academic year.

The SMART grant provides an additional $4000 for third and fourth year students. “This grant is still simple to obtain,” said Covert, “but there are stricter requirements. I would suggest that any student who thinks they might qualify should contact the financial aid office at the university they are planning to attend to find out what steps, if any, that institution requires.” To be eligible for the SMART Grant, a student must:

• be a U.S. citizen;

• be a Federal Pell Grant recipient;

• be enrolled full-time in a degree program;

• be enrolled in a four-year degree-granting institution;

• major in physical, life or computer science, engineering, mathematics, technology, or a critical foreign language; and

• have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale in the coursework required for the student’s major.

“The main thing we want students to know about these new grants is that they MUST fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to even be considered for them. The FAFSA is available at EAC’s Financial Aid Office and online at www.fafsa.ed.gov,” said Covert.

Individuals with questions about financial aid are encouraged to call EAC’s Financial Aid Office at 928-428-8287.