Getting a college education can be very pricey. According to a February 2010 article on the "New York Times" website, nytimes, university tuition, room and board, and administrative fees rose significantly between 2000 and 2008. Scholarships offer some relief from the skyrocketing costs, but many of these grants are available only to incoming freshmen. Despite these facts, students currently attending college have grant options with which to finance their studies.

Pell Grants

Pell Grants are a federal financial aid program that helps students pay for the costs of attending institutions of higher learning. The government awards these grants to currently enrolled undergraduate students on the basis of financial need. Although the maximum Pell Grant award was $5,550 as of December 2010, the actual dollar amount a student receives is based on his financial need, college costs, status as either a full- or part-time student and his plans to attend college for a year of less, states the U.S. Department of Education.

Academic Competitiveness Grants

Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACGs) are federal scholarships for college students currently enrolled in school . As of December 2010, the government gave ACGs in the amounts of $750 to freshmen and $1,300 to sophomores who were eligible for Pell Grants. Besides being financially eligible, sophomores must have grade-point averages of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

SMART Grants

The federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent, or SMART, grant program awards up to $4,000 to juniors, seniors and fifth-year students enrolled in undergraduate life sciences, computer science, technology, mathematics, engineering or certain foreign-language programs at accredited universities. To qualify for a SMART Grant, a student must be financially eligible for a Pell Grant and have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOGs) help students from low-income families. These grants, which the government designed to supplement Pell Grants, provide $100 to $4,000, depending on need, to students currently enrolled at qualified colleges and universities.

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