U.S. Federal Pell Grants are funded up to $6,495 per year per student. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are funded up to the same maximum amount, although qualification requirements and program guidelines are quite different. Additional similarities and differences between Pell Grants and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants also apply.
For example, both grant programs disburse monies to educational institutions and not directly to the awarded students themselves. Once your school receives the grant funds it will disburse them to grant program award winners. If the cost of your tuition or all combined applicable attendance expenses is less than the grant amount for which you qualify, your grant award will be reduced.
Essentially, awardees will not receive more funding than is necessary to cover attendance costs. This might only apply for technical, vocational or certification-based programs. Either way, it is important to understand all terms and conditions as they might apply to you.
Terms and Conditions
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are federally funded. Therefore, federally mandated guidelines and qualification requirements are enforced. These grants are available only to applicants who are ineligible for Pell Grant funding due to their respective Expected Family Contribution. This said, all Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant applicants must also meet all Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements to qualify for these grants as well.
Qualified applicants must have had a parent or guardian who died, while serving through one of the U.S. military services in Iraq or Afghanistan post-9/11. Program applicants must also have been a maximum of twenty-four years old at the time their parent(s) or guardian(s) died.
Grant funds are only available on a per-year basis. This means applicants must reapply every year they seek to obtain these funds. Certain additional terms and limitations still apply. For example, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant recipients are only permitted to receive funds from this program for a maximum of twelve semesters. Once you have been enrolled or applied for twelve semesters you are no longer permitted to reapply for this program.
The price paid for losing a parent or guardian to a service-based fatality is severe. Programs such as the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants seek to help lighten the burden by assisting such students by paying for some of the costs of their education. While such a program is never capable of replacing the true loss, the sincere hope of those who designed it is to create opportunities for students who otherwise might not have them.