Federal Grant Programs
Federal Pell Grant
The Pell Grant Program, the largest grant program available, is awarded by the federal government on the basis of financial need. It is an entitlement program, which means that if the student qualifies, the money will be provided. All students who do not have a bachelor’s degree are automatically considered for this grant by the federal processor upon filing a FAFSA. Awards are made throughout the year. For 2021-2022, the maximum award is $6,495 for a student who has an Expected Family Contribution of zero. The Department of Education may adjust this figure yearly. Awards for less than full-time students are prorated. Students who receive their first Pell Grant on or after July 1, 2008, may receive Pell Grants for as many as 12 full-time semesters (or the equivalent). Please click here to view the 2021-2022 Pell Grant Chart.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
A student who is not eligible for a Pell Grant, but whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and dies as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Eligible students must be under 24 years of age or enrolled in college at least half-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death. The grant is equal to the amount of a maximum Pell Grant for the award year – not to exceed the cost of attendance for that award year.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program provides federal funds to Thomas Nelson Community College for making awards to students with exceptional need. Students attending at least half-time are eligible for FSEOG. FSEOG awards are made on a rolling basis. The amounts of FSEOG awards vary depending on the need, other aid offered, and the amount of funds appropriated. FSEOG is awarded until funds are exhausted.
State Grant Programs
Commonwealth Grant (COMA)
COMA is a state-funded grant that provides assistance to undergraduate Virginia residents who meet Thomas Nelson's priority date and demonstrate financial need to a maximum of tuition and fees per academic year. A minimum of 6 (six) credits hours is required each semester in order to receive COMA.
Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)
VGAP awards range from $500 up to the cost of tuition, fees, and books available to undergraduate residents who graduated from high school with at least a 2.5-grade point average. VGAP also has specific renewal requirements: completion of a Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FAFSA) and continued demonstration of financial need; continued enrollment in a program leading to a degree; continued domiciliary residency in Virginia; academic achievement of at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average; maintain full-time status (12 credit hours) each semester of the academic year; maintain continuous enrollment (excluding summer); remain a dependent student according to current federal regulations.
Get Skilled, Get a Job, Get Ahead (G3) funding covers up to tuition, fees, and a book allowance minus any grant aid. This includes all forms of federal, state, and institutional grants in addition to tuition waivers, Chapter 33, and employer tuition reimbursement. Books cannot exceed $500 per term for full-time attendance and will be prorated to $375 for three-quarter time and $250 for half-time. G3 Funding is only available to cover VCCS "approved" G3 academic programs, this includes multiple/stacked academic program plans. All of your academic program plans MUST meet G3 requirements.
Additional Student Support Incentive Grant (SSIG) Benefits: The SSIG for full Pell recipients will be equal to $900 per term for full-time attendance in the fall and spring terms and $450 for full-time attendance in the summer term. Awards will be reduced for students who withdraw or stop attending through the 60% point of the semester similar to the VGAP and COMA programs. The SSIG will be disbursed in two installments each semester, with the first one occurring after the semester census date and the second one delayed until the end of the term in order to confirm the student did not withdraw or stop attending.
- Virginia residents (in-state students only)
- At least ½ time (6 or more credits) enrolled ONLY in G3 academic program(s)
- Be Title IV aid eligible, as determined by a FAFSA with completed checklist items
- Be meeting SAP (satisfactory academic progress)
- Less than or equal to 400% of Poverty Guideline (see chart below)
- Has remaining need for tuition, fees, and books after all other grant aid and waivers are calculated
Additional Student Support Incentive Grant (SSIG) Requirements:
- Full-time (12 or more credit hours in the fall, spring, and summer semesters) and must receive a full Federal Pell Grant with an EFC equal to 0
- Students must passed/earned 30 or more credit hours in order to continue qualifying for the SSIG
- Cannot have a BA degree
This additional assistance (SSIG) is intended to reduce the number of part-time hours a student has to work so that he or she can spend more time studying.
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The GEER Fund
The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund provides dislocated workers in certain stackable credential programs last-dollar scholarships up to tuition, fees, and a $500 book allowance if those costs are not covered by other aid specifically designated for tuition, fees, and/or books. Students who receive federal grants like Pell and FSEOG can potentially receive a GEER award since those federal grants can cover indirect costs like room and board. Review the eligibility requirements listed below and then complete the GEER Scholarship Application if you think you may qualify. A TNCC financial aid staff member will review your application and will contact you if necessary. GEER funds are available beginning in the Spring 2021 term.
To qualify for GEER funds for high-demand education programs at TNCC, you must:
- Be a dislocated worker as defined on the GEER Scholarship Application and provide required documentation of that status.
- Enroll in one of the eligible G3 stackable credential programs.
- Take 6 or more eligible credits in an eligible program each term.
- Apply for financial aid at TNCC each aid year by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete any requested items on your myTNCC To-Do List.
- Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) derived from your FAFSA of $12,000 or less.
- Be eligible for Federal Student Aid (Title IV eligible).
- Be a Virginia domiciliary resident.
*Please note the following individuals are not eligible for GEER funds:
- Individuals who resigned from full-time employment to care for sick relatives or stay home with school-age children. (Such individuals may be eligible for other financial assistance.)
- DACA and dual enrollment students.
If you meet the requirements above, apply for GEER funds by completing the following steps (each year):
- Review and submit the GEER Scholarship Application to the Financial Aid Office with the required dislocated worker documentation.
- Review your academic Advisement Report to determine which classes you still need to take to complete one of the eligible programs. If you would like to change your program of study or if you have other questions about which classes to take, please contact Academic Advising.
- Enroll in 6 or more eligible credits.
- If you have not already done so, apply for financial aid (via FAFSA) and complete any requested items on your myTNCC To-Do List.
Part-Time Tuition Assistance Grant Program (PTAP)
The Part-Time Tuition Assistance Grant Program is a Virginia Community College System grant offered to Virginia state residents who register 8 or fewer credits. The grant will pay up to tuition and fees. PTAP is awarded until funds are exhausted.
VCCS Supplemental Grant
The VCCS Grant is a Virginia Community College System grant offered to students who are Virginia state residents who have a remaining need and are registered for at least 1 credit. The grant will pay tuition and fees. VCCS Grant is awarded until funds are exhausted.
Foster Grant Program
The Tuition Grant Program provides tuition and fees and is available to foster youth, former foster youth, and special needs adoptees who have a high school diploma or GED. Students must be enrolled in at least six (6) credits to be eligible, meet satisfactory academic progress standards and demonstrate financial need. Students who are receiving other assistance that pays tuition and fees are ineligible to receive this additional grant.