Juggling college education and a new marriage can be a challenge, especially if you're financially strapped. It's rare to find funds that are specifically designated for newlyweds; however, there are many other grants, offered by either governmental agencies or non-profit organizations, which many newlyweds are eligible for.
Federal-Based: Pell Grant
Federal grants are widely available for diverse groups of undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. Newlyweds can access the grants through a provision set aside for married students. One source of federal financial aid is the Pell Grant. Before applying for the Pell Grant as a married student, you must show proof that your combined income and assets and those of your spouse are not sufficient to meet the financial needs of your education. The maximum award one can get from the Pell Grant is $5,500 (this and all figures as of June 2013).
As a newlywed student, you may be eligible for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). This is given to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need. The FSEOG can range from $100 to $4,000 depending on need. Interested newlywed students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used to establish eligibility.
Many colleges offer grants specifically for those who are married. Eligibility and the amount of funds awarded vary considerably depending on financial need and the awarding institution.
The U.S. military is also at the forefront when it comes to looking after military families and dependents. Newlyweds in military circles have access to financial support. Programs and requirements vary, but they must be a spouse to active or retired military personnel, in any of the branches of the military. Notable ones include the Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program (SSEAP) for military spouses seeking undergraduate college education, the National Military Family Association, for spouses seeking advanced degrees in counseling, psychology or social work, and the Army Emergency Relief's Spouse Education Assistance Program, for tuition assistance for those pursuing four-year university degrees.
Based in Los Angeles, Billy Max has been an assistant professor of mechanical engineering with a state university, and has been writing engineering and business and finance-related articles since 2005. His articles have appeared in IEEE Transactions and Business Solutions websites. Max holds a doctorate in engineering, and concentrates on technology, policy and business development.