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Need-Based Grants

Need-based grants can be awarded at the federal, state or institutional level. Because need-based grants are based on a student's individual need, they are evaluated annually when you submit your FAFSA. It is important to understand that all need-based grants, including the McDaniel Grant, are subject to change due to changes in your need.


This is especially important for returning students who will be enrolled in the 2024-2025 academic year. With the new FAFSA and the change from an EFC to an SAI, most students receiving a McDaniel Grant will see some change in their grant amount. 

Graduates in cap and gown walking across campus.

Types of Need-Based Grants

All need-based grants require you to complete the FAFSA. If you do not complete the FAFSA, you will not be considered for need-based aid.

Federal Grants

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers a variety of federal grants to students attending four-year colleges or universities, community colleges, and career schools.

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, generally does not have to be repaid. Pell Grant eligibility is determined by the federal government. McDaniel does not have control over whether or not a student qualifies.

The amount you get, though, will depend on:

  • your Student Aid Index (SAI) as identified by the FAFSA
  • the cost of attendance (determined by McDaniel and available here),
  • your status as a full-time or part-time student, and
  • your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

To receive FSEOG, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form so McDaniel can determine how much financial need you have. The financial aid office will award FSEOGs to undergraduate students that have the most financial need. The FSEOG generally does not need to be repaid.

You can receive between $100 and $4000 a year, depending on your financial need, when you apply, the amount of other aid you get, and the availability of funds at your school. Most McDaniel students receive a maximum of $2000. You must submit your FAFSA by the Preferred Deadline of March 1 to be considered for FSEOG.

McDaniel Grant

The McDaniel Grant is a need-based grant offered by McDaniel College to eligible undergraduate students. You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for a McDaniel Grant. Once you are awarded a McDaniel Grant, your need will be checked annually and changes to the Grant may occur. 

For the 2024-2025 academic year, the FAFSA is undergoing significant changes. It is likely that returning McDaniel students will see changes to their McDaniel Grant from previous years due to the new formula for the SAI. As much as possible, McDaniel will seek to ensure that total need-based aid (including federal, state and institutional grants) is not reduced due to the FAFSA changes unless a student has experienced decreased need. 



State Grants

State Grants are available for residents of the state of Maryland. Learn more about the state grant programs. Please note that most of the state grant programs have a final FAFSA deadline of March 1.