What Is the Florida Student Assistance Grant Program?
Writer & Editor
Writer & Editor
The Florida Student Assistance Grant Program is the largest need-based grant program in the state. This award helps fund the education of Floridians going after their first degree.
Undergraduates in the state who demonstrate substantial financial need can get a minimum of $200 each year (the maximum award amount is set annually by state lawmakers) to pay for college or trade school in the state of Florida.
There are several eligibility requirements, but the grant is easy to receive: Just send in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and do it early — before the stream of funds runs dry. Students must be U.S. citizens and Florida residents to be considered.
Types of Florida Student Assistance Grants
The Florida Student Assistance Grant comprises four grants, each earmarked for use at a different type of institution: public colleges, private colleges, community colleges, aviation maintenance schools, and career centers.
|Florida Public Student Assistance Grant||Public colleges and universities and community colleges||Associate and bachelor's|
|Florida Private Student Assistance Grant||Private nonprofit colleges and universities||Bachelor's|
|Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant||Public community colleges and career centers||Certificate|
|Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant||Public community colleges and career centers with nursing, aviation maintenance, and other programs||Certificate|
The two grants awarded to students of certificate programs — the Florida Postsecondary Student Assistance Grant and the Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant (FSAG-CE) — carry stipulations for eligible institutions:
- Certificate-seeking aviation maintenance schools must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration and licensed by the Commission for Independent Education.
- Career centers must be operated by district school boards.
Florida Public Student Assistance Grant Eligibility Checklist
- Undergraduates only: First-year college students to seniors
- Eligible for financial aid in Florida: U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens who have been residents of Florida for at least a year and are not in default on a public student loan
- Go after first degree: Have not previously received a bachelor's degree
- Demonstrate substantial financial need: Have a Pell-eligible Expected Family Contribution, as determined by the FAFSA
- Go to school part or full time: Enrolled at least part time at an eligible postsecondary institution in the state of Florida
- Keep grades up: Must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (2.0 GPA or better) to stay eligible
Apply Early to Get the Most Out of Florida Grants
If you qualify for the Florida Student Assistance Grant, there's just one thing you must do: Demonstrate financial need by completing the FAFSA — early!
Submit an error-free FAFSA each academic year by your institution's deadline, and you stand to automatically receive the grant for every term you attend.
That said, the bucket of money isn't bottomless. Like most public grant money, the Florida Student Assistance Grant uses a first-come, first-served basis.
You can bolster your chances of getting an award by sending in the FAFSA as soon as possible.
Ultimately, though, what each student receives is up to schools. Each participating institution sets its own rules about student eligibility, application processes, and deadlines. It also determines the Florida grant award amount to offer to its students.
Additionally, the amount you receive is contingent on credits enrolled. Funds are awarded based on full-time enrollment but prorated each semester if enrolled in fewer credits.
The minimum annual award amount is $200. The maximum award amount is set by the Legislature in the General Appropriation Act each year — for the 2024-2025 fiscal year, the maximum award amount is $2,610.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Florida Student Assistance Grant
How many credits do you need to enroll in to receive the Florida Student Assistance Grant?
Students receiving the Florida Public Student Assistance Grant must be enrolled in at least six credits per term or equivalent. Students receiving the Florida Private Student Assistance Grant or a Florida postsecondary grant must be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term.
How long are students eligible to receive the Florida Student Assistance Grant?
Eligible students can receive the Florida Student Assistance Grant for as long as it takes to earn a degree and then some. A four-year degree typically takes eight semesters, or 12 quarters, to complete. Florida grant funding is available for up to nine semesters, or 14 quarters, of full-time enrollment.
For certificate-seekers, the program is available for a maximum of 110% of the number of credits required to complete a program.
Some undergraduates, such as those participating in college prep or remedial education or those enrolled in five-year programs, may receive the grant for a maximum of 10 semesters or 15 quarters.
While the Florida Student Assistance Grant is available for multiple years, each award is good for one year only and is not guaranteed in subsequent years. All offered grants can be renewed upon meeting the requirements at the end of the second semester — or third quarter — of each academic year.
When is Florida Student Assistance Grant funding disbursed?
Award amounts are divided by the semester or quarter system in place at schools. Each installment appears at the end of the add/drop period, typically the second or third week of the session.
Summer term awards are also available but limited. These require you to have received an award disbursement in either the fall or spring term.