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Federal and State Financial Aid Programs

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant program is the largest federal grant program. These grants provide a foundation to which aid from other sources may be added.  To qualify you must be an eligible undergraduate student who has not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. Pell Grants are available for full-time students and part-time students who are taking as little as a one credit course.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

This is a federal grant for undergraduates with exceptional need. Since these funds are limited, only Pell Grant recipients with the lowest Estimated Family Contribution will receive these grants which typically range from $400 to $900 at ESCC. Recipients must be enrolled at least half-time.

Commonwealth Awards

The Commonwealth Award program provides grants to qualified students who are domiciled residents of Virginia. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 semester credits) in a qualified degree or certificate program. The VCCS Grant must not exceed the cost of tuition and fee charges.

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)

Full-time Virginia-domiciled dependent students who graduated from a Virginia high school with at least a 2.5 grade point average may receive this state grant. Students must be a first-time freshman and may qualify for renewal awards up to three additional years.

Part-Time Tuition Assistance Program (PTAP)

This state-funded, need-based grant program is available for Virginia students who are enrolled in one to eight credits in a qualified degree or certificate program. The grant will cover up to the cost of tuition.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

This program provides part-time jobs for students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits). Student class schedules, curriculum, and job skills are considered in assigning jobs. Most employment is on-campus; however, additional employment opportunities have been established for off-campus community service employment. Students are paid every two weeks.

Virginia CommonHelp

CommonHelp is a web-based system that allows Virginia citizens 24/7 easy access to screen and apply for various types of public benefit programs.  These programs are not financial aid for college; however, they may provide assistance with other living expenses to make attending college more of a reality:

  • Cash Assistance (TANF)
  • Child Care Services
  • Energy Assistance (Fuel, Crisis and Cooling)
  • Food Assistance (SNAP)
  • Medical Assistance

The CommonHealth application requires much of the same information as the FAFSA, so it’s a good idea to complete them at the same time.

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