Maintained for Historical Purposes

This resource is being maintained for historical purposes only and is not currently applicable.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program - Selecting Recipients

AwardYear: 1997-1998
EnterChapterNo: 8
EnterChapterTitle: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program
SectionNumber: 1
SectionTitle: Selecting Recipients
PageNumbers: 3-6


To receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
(FSEOG), a student must meet the applicable eligibility requirements
listed in Chapter 2, Section 1, "Student Eligibility." In addition, an
eligible recipient must be an undergraduate student and must have
financial need.

[[FSEOG undergraduate definition--34 CFR 676.2]]
An undergraduate student is defined under the FSEOG Program as a
student who is enrolled in an undergraduate course of study at an
institution of higher education and who

- has not earned a bachelor's degree or first professional degree and

- is in an undergraduate course of study that usually does not
exceed four academic years or is enrolled in a four- to five-
academic-year program designed to lead to a first degree.*1*

[[No FSEOG for additional undergraduate degree]]
A student who has earned a bachelor's or first professional degree is
NOT eligible to receive an FSEOG to pursue an ADDITIONAL
undergraduate degree,*2* based on the above definition of
undergraduate student.

A school must make FSEOG funds reasonably available (to the
extent of available funds) to all eligible students.


[[First selection group]]
In determining the priority order in which students will be awarded
FSEOG funds in any given award year, a school must first choose
those students with exceptional financial need--that is, those with the
lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFCs) who will also receive
Federal Pell Grants in that award year. We will refer to this group of
students as the "first selection group."

[[Second selection group]]
If the school has FSEOG funds remaining after awarding FSEOG
funds to the entire first selection group, the school must next award
FSEOG funds to those eligible students with the lowest EFCs who
will not receive Federal Pell Grants in that award year. We will refer
to this group of students as the "second selection group."


A student who will also receive a Federal Pell Grant in that award
year is a student who has demonstrated Pell Grant eligibility for the
same award year based upon

- a Student Aid Report (SAR) the student submits to the school,

- electronic SAR information the school receives from the Central
Processing System (CPS), or

- a manual calculation.

The school must keep the appropriate Pell Grant eligibility
information on file. If the school determines a student's Pell Grant
eligibility by one of the above methods and awards an FSEOG based
on that determination but the FSEOG recipient does not actually
receive a Pell Grant during the award year, the school relied on the
demonstrated eligibility in good faith and, thus, is not required to
recover the FSEOG funds.

[[If payment period crosses July 1--"Dear Colleague" letter CB 91-8,
dated May 1991]]
If a student is enrolled in a payment period that begins in one award
year and ends in the next*3* and if the student is among those
students with the lowest EFCs who will also receive Pell Grants IN
THAT PAYMENT PERIOD, the student has met the first-selection-
group requirements (FOR THAT PAYMENT PERIOD ONLY)
regardless of the award year to which his or her Pell Grant payment
period is attributed.

For example, Fred and Ethel are enrolled at Trumbull University in a
program that begins in June 1997 and ends in August 1997, and both
are among those students with the lowest EFCs who will also receive
Pell Grants IN THAT PAYMENT period. Even though Fred is
receiving a 1996-97 Pell Grant disbursement for that payment period
and Ethel is receiving a 1997-98 Pell Grant disbursement for that
payment period, both students have met the first-selection-group
requirements for that payment period.

[[The graphic "Determining FSEOG First Selection Group In A
Payment Period That Crosses Over July 1" on page 8-5 is currently
unavailable for viewing on the SFA BBS. Please reference your
paper document or download the pdf files for additional

"Payment period" is defined as a semester, trimester, or quarter; for a
school not using those academic periods, it is the period between the
beginning and the midpoint or between the midpoint and the end of
an academic year.


[[34 CFR 676.10(b)]]
A school must offer at least 5% of its FSEOG allocation to less-than-
full-time and independent students if the school's FSEOG Program
allocation is directly or indirectly based in part on the financial need
of these students and if the financial need of all such students
exceeds 5% of the total financial need of all students at the school.
Additional information is in Chapter 5, Section 1. Determination of
whether a school must offer at least 5% of its 1997-98 allocation to
these students is based on eligible aid applicant data filed for the
1995-96 award year. For subsequent award year allocations,
determinations will be governed by data filed for the second
preceding award year. This provision is not applicable for FSEOG if
the school received an FSEOG allocation of $5,000 or less. A school
cannot exclude less-than-half-time students from its definition of
less-than-full-time students.


A school must develop written selection procedures to ensure that
FSEOG recipients are selected on the basis of the lowest EFC and
Pell Grant priority requirements over the entire award year in
accordance with the selection provisions found in 34CFR 676.10.
For a school that enrolls students as often as monthly or weekly,
FSEOG funds can be reserved for use throughout that award year (on
the basis of institutional experiences from previous periods), and
selection practices can be applied in a manner that would assure a
reasonable consistency over the entire award year.


The school is allowed to establish categories of students to be
considered for FSEOG awards as a means of administering its
packaging policies. Categories may be based on class standing,
enrollment status, program, date of application, or a combination of
factors. By establishing these categories, the school is attempting to
ensure that the students in each category have an opportunity to be
awarded FSEOG funds. The percentage or dollar amount of funds
assigned to each category is also at the school's discretion; there is no
requirement to make that amount proportional to the need of students
in a particular category or even to the number of students in the

[[Prohibition against excluding certain groups of students]]
Categorization may not be used to exclude certain students or groups
of students from consideration. If the school knows that its funds are
so limited as to effectively exclude year after year categories that
come later in the sequence, the school may not be in compliance with
the "reasonably available" provision. This principle would not apply
to a category made up of students whose applications are received
after a specific deadline; there is no requirement to reserve funds for
late applicants although the school is not precluded from doing so.

[[Prohibition against EFC cutoffs or professional judgment]]
A school would not be in compliance with the Higher Education Act
of 1965 (HEA), as amended, and with the FSEOG regulations were it
to award FSEOGs on a first-come, first-served basis or were it
arbitrarily to set expected EFC benchmarks (cutoffs) from below
which it would select FSEOG recipients. Such a practice might
exclude otherwise eligible students from the selection process.
Furthermore, professional judgment is not an appropriate means of
attempting to resolve the indicated circumstance; professional
judgment is applicable only to making an adjustment or adjustments
to an expected EFC or to a cost of attendance amount, not as a means
to circumvent the FSEOG selection policy.

*1* A student enrolled in a program of any other length is
considered an undergraduate student for only the first four academic
years of that program.

*2* Note that the definition of undergraduate student in the FSEOG
regulations differs from the definition in the Federal Perkins Loan
and FWS program regulations (see 34 CFR 674.2 and 675.2). The
definition of undergraduate student in the Federal Perkins Loan and
FWS program regulations does permit a person with a bachelor's or
first professional degree to receive aid from those programs to
pursue an additional undergraduate degree.

*3* The payment period begins before July 1 of any year and ends
after July 1 of that same year.

Last Modified: 07/21/1998