Grants

Virginia Commonwealth University participates in several state and federal grant programs. These awards are need-based and do not require repayment.

To be considered for any grant at VCU, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have the results sent to the VCU Office of Financial Aid. Information provided on the FAFSA should be complete and accurate. Failure to resolve any application-processing problems, or delays in resolving the problems, may prevent students from being considered for a grant.

Grants are not automatically renewed. Students must apply annually and continue to meet eligibility requirements and satisfactory academic progress standards.

Pell is a need-based, undergraduate grant program funded by the federal government. Award amounts vary by expected family contribution (EFC) and enrollment status. Awards are initially offered based on full-year, full-time enrollment and are prorated for students who enroll less than full time.

To be considered for an award, students must:

  • Complete the FAFSA (no additional application is required)
  • Have a qualifying EFC
  • Be admitted to VCU as a degree-seeking undergraduate student
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Meet all requirements for federal Title IV financial aid programs
  • Not be enrolled in a program leading to a second baccalaureate degree

Can I receive a Pell Grant if I go to school year-round?

Year-Round Pell

An eligible student may now receive a full Federal Pell Grant for summer even if they received a full Federal Pell Grant during the fall and spring semesters. Year-round Pell allows students to receive up to 150 percent of a regular grant award over the course of the academic year so that they can continue taking classes in the summer and finish their degrees faster than they would otherwise. With careful planning, Pell Grant recipients may take advantage of this new regulation to earn their degree faster.

Note: The provisions of the new law state that any Pell Grant received will be included in determining the student’s Pell Grant duration of eligibility and Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). To be eligible for additional Pell Grant funds:

  • student must be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period
  • student must be enrolled at least half-time in the payment period(s) (6 credit hours) during the summer term
  • student must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress

SEOG is a need-based, undergraduate grant program funded by the federal government. The award amount is $2,000 per academic year.

To be considered, students must meet all the requirements for a Pell Grant and demonstrate exceptional financial need.

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant program provides annual awards up to $4,000 to eligible undergraduate and graduate students who agree to teach full time in high-need subject areas in low-income areas for a minimum of four years, within eight years of graduation.

High-need fields include:

Schools serving low-income students include any private or public elementary or secondary school listed in the Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.

To receive a TEACH Grant, students must:

  • Complete the FAFSA, although demonstrated financial need is not required
  • Complete the 2019-20 TEACH Grant Application [PDF]
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be admitted to VCU as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or graduate student
  • Enroll in coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching
  • Meet certain academic requirements such as scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admission test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve each year of the grant

For students who fail to fulfill service requirements, grants are converted to direct unsubsidized Stafford loans with interest accrued from the award date.

The Virginia Commonwealth Award is a need-based undergraduate grant program for Virginia residents, funded by the state government. Award amounts are $3,900 per academic year.

To be automatically considered for an award, students must:

  • Complete the FAFSA (no additional application is required)
  • Be admitted to VCU as a degree-seeking undergraduate
  • Be enrolled in six or more credit hours each semester
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be a domiciliary resident of Virginia
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program, or VGAP, is a need- and merit-based undergraduate grant program for Virginia residents funded by the state government. Award amounts are based on full-year, full-time enrollment and range from $4,100 to $13,130.

To be automatically considered for an award, students must:

  • Complete the FAFSA (no additional application is required)
  • Be admitted to VCU as a degree-seeking undergraduate student
  • Be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours each semester
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be a domiciliary resident of Virginia
  • Graduate from a Virginia high school
  • Have at least a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5
  • Maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA at VCU
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Demonstrate financial need

Renewal

Awards may be renewed for up to three additional years provided that the student:

  • Complete the FAFSA for each financial aid award year
  • Maintains continuous full-time enrollment
  • Maintains domiciliary residency in Virginia
  • Demonstrates continued financial need
  • Maintains a college grade point average of at least 2.0
  • Maintains the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards
  • Has advanced class levels upon completion of each year of award received (VGAP is restricted to no more than one year - 12 months - per class level - FR, SO, JR, SR)

Students who fail to meet the criterial for VGAP renewal will lose eligibility indefinitely, but can be considered for other state grant aid programs for which they may qualify.

Students who complete their associate degree at a Virginia two-year public college and transfer to VCU may receive the Two-Year College Transfer Grant.

The grant provides $1,000 for all eligible students, with an extra $1,000 for students who pursue undergraduate work in engineering, mathematics, technology, nursing, teaching or science. An additional $1,000 is available to VCU students who advance to the next class level, limited to one award at junior level and one at senior level.

To be eligible for the award, students must:

  • Complete the FAFSA
  • Complete the Transfer Grant Application
  • Be an in-state student
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Graduate from a Virginia public two-year college with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Transfer to VCU by the fall semester following completion of the associate degree
  • Submit a final academic transcript to VCU as soon as the associate degree is posted
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA at VCU

Students who attended college prior to fall 2007 are not eligible for the transfer grant.

VCU reviews final academic transcripts to determine eligibility. In some instances, eligibility will not be established until after the semester is in session.

The grant is limited to a maximum of three years.

The Virginia Foster Care Tuition Grant Award provides mandatory fee assistance to students who must:

  • Document they were a foster child from the Department of Social Services, and
  • The Social Services document must include the dates in foster care, or
  • Assistance received for a special needs adoption

A foster child is defined for this program as one who was in foster care at the time they received their high school diploma or general education diploma (GED); in the custody of a social service agency or a special needs adoption at the time they received their high school diploma or GED; or was formerly in foster care when turning 18 years old and subsequently received a high school diploma or GED.

Additional award criteria

  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree seeking program with no prior bachelor's degree
  • Must enroll and complete at least half-time enrollment (6 credits or more) each semester
  • Must be a resident of Virginia at the time the award as made and continue to remain a resident of Virginia during the duration the award is made
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined by the Office of Financial Aid
  • Cannot exceed five years of full-time study or 120 credit hours
  • Must demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the year the award is made

Award value

The actual award will vary based upon the types of financial aid a student may receive.

How to apply

The VCU Office of Financial Aid will review your FAFSA results to consider you for this award program. We will ask you to document your circumstances to verify your award eligibility. If you do not receive an update to your eServices account within 30 days of your FAFSA submission, please reach out to the VCU Office of Financial Aid to check on your eligibility status for this program.

Restrictions

  • Laboratory fees are not included
  • On campus room and board fees are not included
  • Differential tuition fees are not included
  • Fees outside the scope of tuition are not included
  • Funds may be limited to first come, first served
  • This award, when combined with other gift aid (scholarships and grants), may not exceed your financial aid cost of attendance
  • This award, when combined with other tuition-only awards, may not exceed your tuition and mandatory fees. Tuition-only means any grants, scholarships, waivers or any other form of financial aid to be applied only to tuition and mandatory fees
  • Cannot be a non-resident student

Important consumer information

  • A student who withdraws from VCU may owe VCU money for the unearned portion of the award received
  • Students who do not enroll and complete at least six credit hours each semester will no longer be eligible for this program
  • Funds for summer semester enrollment may not be available

Resources

State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) Virginia Foster Care Tuition Grant Regulations

Virginia Legislative Information System Chapter 589