National SMART Grant an Alternative Student Loan Program

National SMART Grant

National SMART Grant

Look into the National SMART Grant as an alternative student loan or if you need a no cosigner student loan because you never have to pay them back to the federal government. It’s like free college money and they are not as hard as you think to get one. If you are awarded a National SMART Grant you may not need a no cosigner student loan anymore.

If you are in your third, fourth, or fifth year of college, and working towards a degree in a qualified field, you may be eligible for the National SMART Grant, even if you have already received or will receive additional Federal Grants, scholarships, and loans. Just as other Federal Grants do not have to be repaid, this grant does not have to be repaid either.

SMART is short for Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent. You must be enrolled in an approved program, which includes computer science, life science, physical science, mathematics, engineering, technology, or what is determined to be a critical foreign language. Typically, your guidance counselor or financial aid office can tell you whether your program qualifies you for this grant.

The SMART grant may also be available to those who have not selected a degree program, such as liberal arts students; however, you must be enrolled in at least one course that is a part of the degree programs listed above. Even if you are enrolled in these degree programs, you must actually be taking courses that are applied to those degrees during the time that you receive your grant.

If you are eligible for the National SMART Grant, you will receive up to $4000, for each of the two or three years that you are eligible for it. Normally, this is your third and fourth year of college, but if you are enrolled in a five year degree program; you can also receive it in the fifth year of school. Funds from this grant can be disbursed to you by your school, and the funds will either be given directly to you, direct deposited into your bank account, or deposited into your school account. This is a great alternative student loan program because it pays for your college tuition and you will not need no cosigner student loans like most college students end up having to pay off upon graduation.

If your school operates on the semester system, you will be paid the total amount in two payments – once each semester. In this example, you would receive $2000 in the fall and another $2000 in the winter, if your grant amount was $4000. However, if the school works on the quarter system, the amount would be spread out into four payments. It is important to note that the amount of your Pell Grant, when combined with the SMART Federal Grant cannot be more than the cost to attend school.

The SMART Grant requirements are you must be enrolled at least half time in an approved program. Note that as a half time student, your award amount will be less than it would be if you were a full time student, as with most grants. This grant is only available to under graduate students, and you must additionally be eligible for the Pell Grant as well. You must also retain a grade point average of 3.0 to remain eligible for the award. Additionally, as with the Pell Grant, you must be a citizen of the United States.

As far as the the National SMART Grant application is concerned it usually is included in the financial aid package that your financial aid officer gives you before your third year of college begins. However, if it is not included in your package, makes sure that you ask about this SMART grant if you think that you are eligible. It’s will be a smart college financial move on your part and it’s a great alternative student loan program which may totally eliminate the need for those dreaded no cosigner student loans.

TEACH Grant Program for a No Cosigner Student Loan

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

ACG Grant for Student Loans with No Cosigner

Pell Grant before a No Cosigner Student Loan


  1. College Grant Money for College | - pingback on December 4, 2009 at 12:42 pm
  2. I have been told that in order to get the National Smart Grant, a student must not have graduated from high school before 2005. Could a student who graduated in 2000, for example, receive the National Smart Grant? I’ve been doing lots of research on it and I have not seen that written down anywhere. I know for the Academic Competitive Grant, the student needs to have graduated not before 2005. But, is it also true of the National Smart Grant? Thank you.

  3. Linda,

    you can call (1-800-433-3243) and ask them direct if the National Smart Grant has that restriction.

  4. Is the Smart Grant meant for students belonging to the science streams or is it applicable to other streams as well? What is the eligibility procedure and if I get the amount then would I have to pay it back?

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