National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants assist those undergraduate post-secondary students that major in other languages or certain designated technical fields. Financial grant assistance is provided on need-basis to help these students meet their educational expenses.
National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants are overseen by way of the Department of Education and fall under the Federal Student Aid Information Center. To become entitled to a this, students need to be signed up for eligible schools that might be public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education. These can include but are not limited to universities, colleges, hospital schools of nursing, vocational-technical schools and for- profit institutions.
Only specific majors meet the requirements to be considered for a this grant. These are Science (including life sciences, physical science and computer science), Technology, Engineering, Critical foreign language studies, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mathematics, and certain natural resource conservation and multidisciplinary programs.
National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants are not accessible for graduate students or those students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree without any exceptions possible. The student should be enrolled in a four-year degree program, be in either their third or the fourth year of said program and be allowed to receive a Pell Grant in the same year that they want to be considered for a SMART Grant. Students must also maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Students really need to sign a statement of educational purpose, are not allowed to owe a refund on another a Title IV grant, and cannot currently have a Title IV loan that is defaulted.
While the program itself is overseen by the Department of Education, the institution that the student is enrolled in will act as the disbursing agent. The institution calculates and pays the SMART Grants. This can be done using a payment schedule put together by the Department of Education. The Department of Education will then calculate if the student is eligible for assistance and the office the student sent the original application sent to will send the student a notification whether or not they were eligible for assistance. The student then delivers this received notification to the institution and will have their grant calculated from there. The funding available and the selection of recipients that the institution estimates will determine this payment schedule.
The total grants were $230,000,000 in 2007; approximately $260,000,000 in 2008; and approximately $270,000,000 in 2009. Depending on the need of the student and how much they are assigned, the grant received through the program can range upwards of $4000. SMART Grants assistance cannot exceed the student’s actual price of education. The normal reward for students was around $3,291.