Grants

A grant is a type of financial aid based on financial need (or other eligibility requirements) that you may not have to repay.

Unlike loans, you usually do not have to repay grants. However, there are two situations where you may need to repay part of a federal grant:

  1. The amount given was more than you were eligible to receive. Errors can occur if you submit incorrect information (electronically or on paper) or because the information that you wrote on the FAFSA or SAR was not scanned or entered correctly by the processor. In general, the school must have correct data before it can pay you. Additionally, any subsequent corrections to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can result in correcting an award.
  2. You withdraw early from the program for which you were given the grant. Eligibility for Title IV Federal financial aid may be restored by entering into an acceptable repayment plan with the Department of Education. As long as payments are made as agreed, the grant-originated debt does not affect eligibility for further aid. However, if you fail to make the agreed-upon payments, your eligibility is permanently lost until the debt is paid in full.

Grant over-payment debts are not eligible for either consolidation or rehabilitation.

How to Apply for Grants

  • Apply to the college and be admitted to an eligible program of study.
  • Demonstrate your financial need by completing the current FAFSA.
  • Complete your financial aid file (check priority dates).

Review the following information for eligibility and other requirements for each grant.

Federal Pell Grants

  • About Pell Grants

    Pell Grants are gift aid (aid that does not have to be repaid) funded by the federal government that supplement other aid. Pell Grant awards range from a minimum of $326 per semester ($652 per year) to $3,047 per semester ($6,095 per year). A maximum grant for fall 2018 semester is awarded as follows:

    • 12 credit hours: $3,048
    • 9—11 credit hours: $2,286
    • 6—8 credit hours: $1,524
    • 1—5 credit hours: $762

    If awarded a Pell Grant, you will receive an award letter by email detailing you full award amount. If you do not enroll or choose to attend less-than-full-time, unused funds from that semester can be awarded in summer up to your eligibility amount. If you are not receiving a full Pell grant, you can calculate your amount by taking ¾ of your total Pell for –11 credit hours, ½, of your total Pell for 6–8 credit hours, or ¼ of your total Pell semester award for 1–5 credit hours. 

  • Pell Grant Requirements and Lifetime Pell Grant Eligibility

    • demonstrated financial need
    • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
    • hold a high school diploma or GED certificate
    • be enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit in an eligible program consisting of at least 16 hours
    • not have a bachelor's degree
    • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

    Lifetime Pell Grant Eligibility

    The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds you may receive over your lifetime is limited by a federal law to be the equivalent of six years of Pell Grant funding. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year equivalent is 600%.

    The maximum of Federal Pell Grant funding you can receive is calculated for an award year.  An award year is a period from July 1 of one calendar year to June 30 of the next calendar year. Your scheduled award represents 100% of your Pell Grant eligibility for that award year if you are enrolled full-time.

    To determine how much of the maximum six years (600%) of Pell Grant you have used each year, the U.S. Department of Education compares the actual amount you received for the award year with your scheduled award amount for that award year. Of course, if you receive the full amount of your scheduled award, you will have used 100%. It is possible that you might not receive your entire scheduled award for an award year. There are a number of reasons for this, the most common of which are that you are not enrolled for the full year or that you are not enrolled full-time, or both.

    If you did not receive the full amount of your scheduled award, we calculate the percentage of the scheduled award that you did receive. For example, if your scheduled award for an award year is $5,000, but because you were enrolled for only one semester you received only $2,500, you would have received 50% of the scheduled award for that award year. Or if you received only $3,750 for the award year because you were enrolled three-quarter-time and not full-time, you would have received 75% for that year.

    Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU)

    The U.S. Department of Education keeps track of your lifetime eligibility used by adding together the percentages of your Pell Grant scheduled awards that you received for each award year. Since the maximum amount of Pell Grant funding you can receive each year is equal to 100%, the six-year-equivalent is 600%. If your lifetime eligibility used equals or exceeds 600%, you may no longer receive Pell Grant funding. Similarly, if your lifetime eligibility used is greater than 500% but less than 600%, while you will be eligible for a Pell Grant for the next award year, you will not be able to receive a full scheduled award.

    You can log in to National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS®) using your FSA ID and view your lifetime eligibility used. The lifetime eligibility used will be found on the Financial Aid Review page.

  • Year-Round Pell Grants

    If you are eligible, you may receive a full federal Pell Grant for summer even if you received a full Federal Pell Grant during the fall and spring semesters. Year-round Pell (video) allows you to receive up to 150 percent of a regular grant award over the course of the academic year. With careful planning, this allows you to continue taking classes in the summer and finish your degree faster than you would otherwise.

    The provisions of the law state that any Pell Grant received will be included in determining your Pell Grant duration of eligibility and Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). To be eligible for additional Pell Grant funds, you must:

    • be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period
    • be enrolled at least half-time in the payment period(s) (6 credit hours) during the summer term
    • be maintaining satisfactory academic progress
  • Pell Grants for Dependents of Veterans

    The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 grants you an automatic zero EFC for the Pell Grant Program only if you are a Pell Grant-eligible student whose parent or guardian was a member of the Armed Forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001.

    To be eligible, you must have been twenty-four years of age or younger or enrolled at least part-time at an institution at the time of your parent's death. The FAFSA will not ask you about your eligibility for this additional benefit, so you will need to notify the Financial Aid Office concerning your eligibility.

  • Estimate Your Pell Grant Award Amount

Federal Work-Study (FWS) and America Reads/America Counts

  • About Federal Work-Study

    A federal Work-Study grant allows you to earn to earn a portion of your education expenses by working in a work-study designated position part-time (15-20 hours/week on average). The number of hours you can work depends on your total work-study award, your class schedule, and your academic progress. Work-study funds awarded are limited by availability of positions, funds, and completion of the interview process.

    If you are awarded a work-study grant, there are no limitations on your earnings in a given term, but you cannot exceed the annual limits described in your award letter. You will be paid on the 15th of each month, according to the position and the number of hours worked.

    • Federal Work Study Requirements

      To qualify or be eligible for consideration for a work-study grant and any vacant federal work-study position, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

      • demonstrated financial need
      • be enrolled in at least six credit hours in an eligible program (for summer, be enrolled in at least one class)
      • hold a high school diploma or GED certificate
      • maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA
      • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
      • possess skills required for position
      • must not be in default on a federal loan
    • How to Apply for a Work-Study Position

      After your financial aid file is complete (including applying for work-study), you have been accepted to the college, and you are awarded work-study, you will need to apply for a work-study position. 

      To search and apply for available work-study positions at Central Piedmont, create a profile on the Central Piedmont Human Resources employment website:

      • Select from the drop downs:

        • Classified
        • Part-Time
        • Location [Where You Want to Work]
      • Click Search
      • Look for positions with "Federal Work Study" in the title.
      • Review position functions and job duties.
      • If interested in the position, click on Apply Now.
      • Apply for as many positions as you are interested in.

      If you meet all qualifications, including required skills, GPA, need, etc. and are selected for an interview, a work-study supervisor will contact you. If you are recommended for a position:

      • The supervisor will notify the Financial Aid Office.
      • You will receive an email providing links to new hire forms that you will need to complete before you begin working.
      • You will need to contact Human Resources to schedule a new hire appointment.
      • You will need to meet with HR to submit your completed forms. Complete forms under “Part-Time” Employment Forms.”
      • A background check will be conducted.
      • You will be notified of your start date by your work-study supervisor.
      • You will sign a work-study authorization form.
      • Once you begin working, you will need to complete the federal work-study timesheet.

      For more information about these programs, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

    • America Reads/America Counts Grants

      The America Reads/America Counts Grant is a federal work-study program that allows you to earn a portion of your education expenses while gaining work and service experience as a reading (America Reads) or math/science (America counts) tutor for individual children. You may also provide other classroom support.

      America Reads/America Counts Requirements

      • demonstrated financial need
      • be enrolled at least 6 credit hours in an eligible program
      • hold a high school diploma or GED certificate
      • maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA
      • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
      • must have completed at least 12 credit hours of coursework at Central Piedmont prior to the eligibility review period (the America Reads eligibility review period is normally prior to the start of the fall semester)
      • possess skills required for position
      • not be in default on a federal loan

      If you apply for grants and meet all qualifications, including required skills, GPA, need, etc., you will be notified by mail prior to the start of the fall semester if you have been selected for consideration for the America Reads/Counts programs.

    Other Grants Available

    • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

      The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is gift aid (does not have to be repaid) administered directly by Central Piedmont's Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs Educational Benefits offices.

      The amount of aid awarded depends on your financial need, the amount of other aid you receive, and on the availability of funds. The FSEOG is awarded for fall and spring semesters only (summer is ineligible).

      Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) Requirements

      • be eligible for a Pell Grant (priority given to Federal Pell Grant recipients)
      • demonstrated financial need
      • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
      • hold a high school diploma or GED certificate
      • be enrolled in an eligible program
      • not have a bachelor's degree
      • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
    • North Carolina Community College Grant (NCCCG)

      The North Carolina Community College Grant (NCCCG) is gift aid (does not have to be repaid) funded by the state of North Carolina. Awards are determined by the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority, through College Foundation, Inc.

      If eligible for the grant, you are allowed to receive the grant for eight semesters (or equivalent). The NCCCG is awarded for fall and spring semesters only (summer is ineligible).

      North Carolina Community College Grant (NCCCG) Requirements

      • your most recent ISIR and the ISIR on which the grant is being awarded reflect NC residency
      • your current residency determination is NC resident, or you have been continuously enrolled since being determined an NC resident by the RDS, or by the school for determinations that took place prior to RDS implementation
      • demonstrated financial need
      • be a North Carolina resident
      • enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours)
      • enrolled in an eligible program
      • hold a high school diploma or GED certificate
      • meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and the Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements, except for the EFC requirement established by the federal government

      To be considered for the North Carolina Community College Grant, list a North Carolina Community College as one of your top three choices of institutions when completing the FAFSA.

      North Carolina Community College Grant awards are awarded based on full-time plus enrollment (15 credit hours or more). In order to receive the full award amount listed on your award letter (you can view their Financial Aid Award Letter in MyCollege), you should take 15 credit hours per semester. If you decide to take less than 15 credit hours, your NC Community College Grant award will be reduced:

      • 15+ (full-time plus): 100% + $400 (shown on award letter)
      • 12-14 (full-Time): 100%
      • 9—11: 75%
      • 6—8: 50%
      • 1—5: 0 % (you are required to be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours to receive the award)
    • North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (NCELS)

      North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (NCELS) was created by the 2005 General Assembly to provide financial assistance to needy North Carolina resident students attending eligible colleges and universities located within the state of North Carolina.

      If eligible for the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship, you are allowed to receive the scholarship for eight semesters (or equivalent). The NCELS is awarded for fall and spring semesters only (summer is ineligible).

      North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship (NCELS) Requirements

      • your most recent ISIR and the ISIR on which the grant is being awarded reflect NC residency
      • your current residency determination is NC resident, or you have been continuously enrolled since being determined an NC resident by the RDS, or by the school for determinations that took place prior to RDS implementation
      • enroll for at least six credit hours per semester in a eligible program
      • hold a high school diploma or GED certificate
      • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
      • be admitted, enrolled, and classified as an undergraduate student in matriculated status in a degree, certificate, or diploma program at an eligible North Carolina institution (UNC campuses, Community College campuses, Independent College campuses, and certain other private colleges)
      • eligibility is determined based on the same criteria as the Federal Pell Grant with one exception:
        • if your expected family contribution is 5000 or less, you may be eligible for the North Carolina Education Lottery Scholarship
      • if you have earned a baccalaureate (four-year) college degree, you are ineligible
      • if you have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) between 1901 to 5000, you are eligible

      If you do not establish North Carolina residency, your state grant awards will be void. Complete your residency determination.

    Grants for Dependents of Veterans

    • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

      The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are for students whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of performing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11.

      • must be ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant due only to having less financial need than is required to receive Pell funds
      • must have been less than 24 years old or enrolled at least part-time at an institution of higher education at the time of the parent or guardian’s death
      • the grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Federal Pell Grant for the award year but cannot exceed your cost of attendance for that award year