Ballast Grant Program
Ballast: / 'balest' / (n.) A nautical term describing stabilizing weights placed in the hull of a vessel.
The College of Coastal Georgia is committed to helping our students succeed in and out of the classroom. The challenges our students and their families have faced over the last year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic have been monumental, causing many to not enroll, stop out, take fewer hours, or go further in debt.
As we emerge from the most challenging time in a generation, the College of Coastal Georgia has developed the Ballast Grant Program to help our students stabilize their financial aid and launch into the Fall 2021 semester on a solid financial footing.
What is the Ballast Grant?
The intent of the Ballast Grant is to provide supplemental aid to students who have experienced financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to receive the Ballast Grant, students must be able to articulate and demonstrate need through an application and/or document review process.
Students with exceptional need will be prioritized.
How much does the Ballast Grant award?
The amount students are eligible to receive from the Ballast Grant varies.
- Students living on campus - $1,000 - This award is roughly half the cost of the dining plan for the Fall 2021 semester.
- Commuter students taking 5+ hours - $685 - This award equals the cost of student fees for the Fall 2021 semester.
- Commuter students taking 1-4 hours - $465 - This award equals the cost of student fees for the Fall 2021 semester.
Who qualifies for the Ballast Grant?
To qualify for the Ballast Grant program, students must meet all of the following criteria:
- Must complete a Ballast Grant application
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen as defined by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
- Must be enrolled at the College and attendance verified at the time of grant disbursement
- Students who complete the Ballast Grant application and have been determined to have need will not be required to complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA application, but will be strongly encouraged.
- Students who complete the Ballast Grant application and have been determined to have other levels of need must have completed the 2021-2022 FAFSA application for review.
Dual Enrollment, non-degree seeking, or transient students will not qualify for the Ballast Grant. Transient students should contact their home institution for information about similar programs.
How do I apply for the Ballast Grant?
To apply for the Ballast Grant, students must complete the Ballast Grant Application located in the portal.
In order to be considered for the grant, students must provide an explanation of any and all financial hardships suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be as specific as you can. It is recommended that you describe the situation in detail, its financial impact on you, your immediate family, and/or those in your household/under your care. You should explain how this hardship has impacted your ability to pay for college and in what ways (i.e. inability to attend, forced to take out additional loans, forced to take fewer hours, etc.). You will want to include any supporting documentation as well. Information provided will be kept confidential.
If I apply for the Ballast Grant, am I guaranteed to get it?
No. Awards will be made based on application, and there are limited funds in the Ballast Grant pool. Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
Is there a deadline for the Ballast Grant?
Not really. We will accept applications through the first several weeks of the Fall 2021 semester, but there are limited funds in the grant pool. Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis, so the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to be awarded.
If I receive the Ballast Grant, will I have to pay it back?
No. Ballast Grant funds are made possible by the funds received from the federal government as a result of the CARES Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on March 13, 2020. It is not a loan, and you will not have to pay these funds back.
Who is making the decision about the Ballast Grants?
The Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management is responsible for oversight of the program and has appointed a campus committee to solicit, review, and award grant dollars to students.
What is the committee's timeline?
The Ballast Grant Review Committee meets weekly. The deadline for review is Thursdays by 8 a.m. The committee will notify students of their decision by Wednesday of the following week. Funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and students with demonstrated need and complete application will take priority.
What if I have questions about the Ballast Grant Program?
For questions concerning your eligibility for the grant, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 912-279-5722.
For questions about the structure of the grant, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management at 912-279-5802.