If you are a parent who has to put two kids through college simultaneously, the cost may seem overwhelming. However, special grant and scholarship opportunities funded by federal, state and private sources can help reduce tuition costs. Speak to the college’s financial aid representative to determine aid eligibility.
When two children attend college simultaneously, you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA for each student. The federal government not only takes family income into consideration, but also the number of family members attending college. You will be given an expected family contribution (EFC) amount and this determines how much federal grant money you receive. As of 2011, the federal Pell Grant gives a maximum award of $5,550 on an annual basis. Students from lower-class families are most often eligible for funding through the grant program.
Sibling grants are available at colleges and universities throughout the country. The grant pays for a portion of tuition or offers a discount when more than one family member attend the school. As an example, Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Texas gives two full-time siblings a discount of 20 percent each. Both students must be concurrently enrolled and remain in good academic standing at the college.
Grants for Full-Time Siblings
A flat tuition discount is offered through certain colleges that require siblings to be full time. For instance, Seton Hall University in New Jersey has a sibling grant program, but credit hours for each student must equal between 12 and 18 to retain full-time status. While the students are both attending, the grant awards 10 percent off each of their tuition costs. Full-tuition-scholarship students do not qualify to receive the grant, nor do children of university employees. Satisfactory academic progress must be maintained for the grant to be renewed annually.
Non-Need-Based Grant Programs
Sibling grants are not necessarily based on financial need. For instance, at Ithaca College in New York, the award is automatically given to students who have a brother or sister attending the college at the same time. Both students must remain enrolled full time to continue to receive the grant on an annual basis. No other eligibility requirements apply. Each sibling receives $1,000 yearly under the grant program, as of July 2011.
Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.