The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) program is a campus-based aid program. The school’s financial aid office receives a certain amount of SEOG funds each year and then distributes the money to its students based on financial need. The school sets the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant requirements, the deadlines, and the award amounts which can vary from $100 to $4,000.
As mandated by statute, funds are distributed to institutions first on the basis of the institution’s fiscal year 1999 SEOG program base guarantee and pro rata share (a hold harmless basis), and then on the basis of the aggregate need of the eligible undergraduate students in attendance. The current hold harmless provision distorts the allocation of funding among institutions so that institutions receive more funds than if the funds were solely distributed to institutions based on student financial need (Department of Education STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request, pg 26)
Approximately nine percent of undergraduates receive SEOG awards. The average award is $770 for dependent students with 68% of dependent recipients having a family income of $30,000 or less.
Few students, despite their need, receive the $4,000 maximum award. For example, Texas A&M University-Kingsville requires students to have an EFC of 0 and demonstrate exceptional financial need by having family resources that do not exceed 50% of the cost of the education. The maximum award is then limited to $2,000 per academic year. The University of Houston also requires an EFC of 0 for SEOG eligibility. Northeastern State University in Oklahoma limits SEOG grants to $1,002 per academic year, California State University Fullerton allows only up to $800, and the University of Kansas‘ maximum award is $600.
Not all students who may qualify for the SEOG will receive them. It all depends on how much money the school has for distribution. Therefore, you should apply as early as possible for financial aid.