College Grants for Students and Scholarships
Are you interested in college grants for students? If so, there is a good chance you fit into one of three categories: prospective student, current student, or a parent of a student.
School grants, along with scholarships, are available to help students fund the ever growing expense of attending college. Unlike student loans, grants do not have to be repaid. In short, this is “free money” meant to pay for everything from tuition to room and board and much more.
With thousands of available grants for college, students of varying backgrounds have a better chance than ever of receiving this type of financial aid. The Federal Pell Grant is among the most popular, but far from the only option. There are many other types of college grants for students – to take advantage of these you must know how to apply.
Federal Pell Grant
As a college student it makes sense to determine your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant. To do so, you need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This form determines your eligibility for this grant as well as many other types of financial aid.
Each year, there is an application deadline for completing the FAFSA. For more information or to fill out your form, visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
After your FAFSA has been reviewed, you will receive results via email or standard mail. At this time, you will learn whether you qualify for the Federal Pell Grant as well as other types of financial aid including the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program and student loans.
The Federal Pell Grant is need based. The United States Department of Education uses a formula to evaluate your application and determine eligibility. Once arriving at your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) your eligibility is determined. There is an income limit for the Federal Pell Grant.
Pell Grant Eligibility and Requirements
Requirements for this college grant include: undergraduate student who has yet to earn a four year Bachelor’s degree, has a high school diploma or GED, and is a US citizen.
Just like all grants, this one is capped at a certain amount. This can change from year to year, and is based on the student’s EFC as well as other factors including: cost of tuition and other fees, full-time or part-time status, and how long the student will attend college.
This grant can be paid directly to the student, directly to the school for payment of tuition and other expenses, or through a combination of both methods.
State College Grants
Most states offer educational grants to a variety of students including those of all income levels and backgrounds. There is a very good chance that your state can provide you with a grant to help pay for all or a portion of your college education.
Whether or not you qualify for a state based college grant depends on the area in which you live as well as your current situation. Below are several situations that may apply to you:
- Low income grants. Much like the Federal Pell Grant, on the state level a lower income increases your chance of receiving a grant for college.
- Minority grants. Are you Native American, African America, Asian, or Hispanic? Are you interested in college grants for women? If you answered yes to one or both of these questions your state may have a grant designed specifically for you.
- Grants for particular fields of study. Did you know that your program of study could determine whether or not you receive a grant? Teaching grants and nursing grants, for example, are offered by many state governments. These positions are in demand, and this is one way to ensure that students at least consider this career path.
College Scholarships and Grants: Are they the same?
Many students believe that college scholarships and grants are identical since they both offer aid that does not have to be repaid. While similar in this way, there is one major difference. A grant can be based on many factors including but not limited to: income, subject being studied, degree level, and personal background. Scholarships, on the other hand, are merit based and awarded for things such as academic performance and athletic prowess.
Don’t lump together college grants for students and scholarships. This could lead to a missed opportunity.
Find Grants for College
There are three common sources of college grants for students:
- Federal and state governments
- Third party, private and public organizations
- Institution you are attending
By thoroughly considering all three of these options you put yourself in position to find as many educational grants as possible.
Why are College Grants so Important?
Regardless of financial situation, most students attending college search for as much free money as possible.
Paying for college with student loans is possible, but it often times leads to financial stress upon graduation. Rather than deal with the repayment of loans, along with interest, search for student grants and scholarship. Grant money is perfect for any student who wants to receive free money and avoid paying off loans for many years after graduation.
Remember one thing: college grants for students are always better than loans. Even if your school grant only totals a couple hundred dollars, this is money that you get for free – you won’t have to pay it back later on.
Did you know that it is possible to receive more than one grant and/or scholarship? Your goal should be to learn about as many college grants for students as possible. Once you know which ones you are eligible for, you can move forward with the application process.
Final Word on Student Grants
It does not matter where you live, which school you are attending, or how much money you have, you owe it to yourself (both students and parents) and your finances to consider each and every type of college grant.
As you learn more about college grants for students you may be surprised at just how much financial assistance you can receive.