Most desirable jobs in the modern workforce require a college degree. However, paying for a college education gets increasingly expensive every year. Many find it increasingly hard to bridge the gap and afford the education they need to succeed.

There’s good news, though. Several grants and scholarship programs are available to full-time students struggling with tuition in Florida. 

The Florida Student Assistance Grant (FSAG) program is a need-based program available to currently-enrolled undergraduate students who are residents of the state of Florida. The only requirement to receive this grant is that you demonstrate financial need.

Who’s Eligible

If you’re a student looking for the means to take your education to the next level, the FSAG program may be able to help. FSAG is available if you are enrolled in:

  • A post-secondary degree program a at state-sponsored institution, like state colleges and universities or state-funded public community colleges.
  • An eligible private degree-granting college or university which meets state criteria. 
  • An eligible certificate-seeking aviation maintenance schools.

If you’re unsure if your school fits this bill, ask a counselor for help. Additional programs include:

  • FSAG-CE: This is the Florida Public Postsecondary Career Education Student Assistance Grant. It’s meant for students attending Florida public community colleges or participating career centers operated by district school boards. 
  • The Talented Twenty: This program is provided to high school students with severe financial needs, and is meant to help them prepare for college. Learn more about the Talented Twenty Program here.

If you’re thinking about applying for any of these, keep in mind that they each have their own set of rules and regulations, including eligibility requirements and deadlines. It’s also very important to apply as early as possible. Applications for assistance can take months to be approved. You should never wait till the last minute to get this stuff done. 

Where to Apply

As we mentioned, you can ask a school counselor for help to search for and apply for grants and scholarships. Otherwise, you and your parents can easily access the application process online to get the ball rolling. 

If you can demonstrate a legitimate financial need, you can access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online before the school year or semester starts. You’ll need to have your parent or guardian’s financial records, like a W-2 and recent paystub.

What You Need to Apply

To qualify for FSAG and other Florida financial aid, you must:

  • Be a Florida resident and a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. The postsecondary institution determines your residency and citizenship status. If you have questions about this, call the school’s financial aid office or contact your counselor. 
  • Have a clean financial aid record. You must not have defaulted on any previous financial aid like student loans. If you have defaulted, you will need to make arrangements with your financial assistance office. Generally, you must also make payments for up to six months before you’ll be considered eligible again. 
  • Be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credit hours per term (part-time) or 12 hours (full-time). Alternatively, you can have the equivalent in a given associate or baccalaureate degree program at a qualifying school. 
  • Meet Florida’s general eligibility requirements for the receipt of student aid.

If you’re a student seeking to attend or hoping to be able to continue attending college in the state of Florida, help is out there. You just need to know where to look.