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The National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant)

The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant, also known as the National Smart Grant is available during the third and fourth years of undergraduate study (or fifth year of a five-year program) to at least half-time students who are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant and who are majoring in physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering or a critical foreign language; or non-major single liberal arts programs. The student must also be enrolled in the courses necessary to complete the degree program and to fulfill the requirements of the intended eligible major in addition to maintaining a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in course work required for the major. The National SMART Grant award is in addition to the student's Pell Grant award.

How Much Can A Student Receive?
A National SMART Grant will provide up to $4,000 for each of the third and fourth years of undergraduate study. The amount of the SMART Grant, when combined with a Pell Grant, may not exceed the student's cost of attendance. In addition, if the number of eligible students is large enough that payment of the full grant amounts would exceed the program appropriation in any fiscal year, then the amount of the grant to each eligible student may be ratably reduced.

Eligible Students

  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • be Pell Grant-eligible during the same award year; 
  • be enrolled at least half-time; 
  • be in the third or fourth year of an undergraduate degree program (or fifth year of a five-year program); 
  • be pursuing a major in physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering or a critical foreign language; or non-major single liberal arts programs, and 
  • have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale as of the end of the second award year and continue to maintain a 3.0 GPA that must be checked prior to the beginning of each payment period (e.g., semester).


Note - A student is eligible to receive a National SMART Grant if the student enrolls in the courses necessary to complete the degree program and to fulfill the requirements of the intended eligible major.

That is, an otherwise eligible student can receive a National SMART Grant for a payment period only if the student is enrolled in at least one course that meets the specific requirements of the student's National SMART Grant-eligible major and it is not necessary that the course be offered by the academic department that confers the degree in the eligible major. For example, a student majoring in biology is eligible to receive a National SMART Grant during a semester in which he or she is enrolled in a physics course if the physics course is required for the major even if the student is not enrolled in any biology courses.

A student who is taking general education courses or electives that satisfy general degree requirements for the student's National SMART Grant-eligible program, but who is not taking at least one course specific to and required for the National SMART Grant-eligible major, is not eligible for a National SMART Grant payment for that payment period. For example, the biology student described above may be taking courses during a semester in the humanities, the arts, and physical education in order to fulfill the general education requirements of the degree program or major. However, to be eligible for a National SMART Grant the student must also be enrolled in at least one course required for the student's National SMART Grant major. If the student were enrolled only in courses that satisfy the general education requirements of the National SMART Grant-eligible program, but not in any courses that are specific to the major, he or she would not be eligible for a National SMART Grant payment for the semester.

Eligible Fields of Study
Click here for a list of eligible fields of study.


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