Educational grants for minorities include the Academic Competitiveness Grant, the National SMART Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Pell Grants. Some of these grants require that recipients meet key criteria, either in terms of their academic success or the university they attend.
Pell Grants are part of a perennial federal grant program to provide need-based funding for undergraduate study. The maximum award an individual can receive is roughly $5,500 per student per academic year. The criteria used to determine the amount of each award includes demonstrated financial need, the cost of attending a specific university, part-time or full-time enrollment status, and partial-year or full-year enrollment duration.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is reserved for the neediest federal financial aid applicants. One-quarter of the grant money is donated directly from the applicant's university. For this reason, those wishing to apply for the grant must attend one of the 3,800 institutions that participate in the program.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant specifically targets individuals studying math, science, engineering and other technology-based majors. Funds are awarded to first- and second-year students, and the SMART Grant supplements students' third and fourth years that are not covered by the Academic Competitiveness Grant. Pell Grant eligibility is a requirement to receive both the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the SMART Grant.