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 2018-2019, the maximum award is $6,095 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).
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.
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 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:
- 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.
The Re-Employing Virginians (REV) initiative helps current and future students cover the cost of tuition and fees in fields that will lead to careers. If you are unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19 you can receive up to $3,000 for short-term training or certification programs at TNCC. Review the eligibility requirements (below), complete the REV Self-Certification Form, and then submit your signed form to email@example.com. Then check your TNCC student email because a Navigator will contact you and assist you with the process, making sure you have everything you need to make the most of this opportunity. Additionally, please 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. The REV program has been extended until December 14, 2021, or until funding runs out!
To qualify for REV funds for high-demand workforce education programs at TNCC, you must certify that you meet one of the following criteria:
- A Virginia resident who lost his/her job due to COVID-19 and received unemployment benefits on or after Aug. 1, 2020.
- A Virginia resident who was laid off from a full-time job due to COVID-19 and now works part-time, earning less than $15/hour.
*Please note the following are not eligible for REV:
- Individuals who resigned from full-time employment to care for sick relatives or stay home with school-age children. (May be eligible for other financial assistance.)
- DACA and dual-enrolled students.
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.