Best Ways Get College Grants – Recently, there are very few students who are able to simply pay their college tuition outright. A good number of students end up buried in debt for 15 years or more after they finish their education.
Some don’t even attempt to earn their degree because they are afraid they won’t be able to afford the rising costs of college.
There is a Little Hope
Thankfully, the government and other organizations have taken steps to make earning an education easier through the use of grants. If you’re not familiar with the term, you’re not alone.
Grants vs. Loans
Many prospective students confuse grants with student loans and end up in a situation that could have been avoided. Student loans require repayment while government grants do not.
Grants provide students with the money they need to fund their education without the stress of student loan payments. An increasing number of grants are available to students who wish to continue their education, and with a little help, you can become one of them.
Beginning Your Grant Search
While more and more grants are quickly becoming available to students with financial needs, the competition for these grants is high and many of the grants have limited funds. For this reason, you should begin your search as quickly as possible.
As early as your sophomore year of high school, begin assembling important documents that may help you obtain the grant you want for college.
Such documents include transcripts, test scores for the ACT or SAT, essays you have written, recommendation letters, and applications to college. As you begin your junior year, start searching for grants you wish to apply for.
Grants are available through:
- Federal and state governments
- Colleges and universities
- Public and private organizations
The earlier you apply and the more organized you are, the better your chances of obtaining the grant you want. However, if you have already finished high school or are considering returning to school later in life, don’t worry, you can still get the funding you need.
Types of College Grants Available
As you begin searching for grants, you should be aware of the specific types of grants available to you. Knowing where to look for grants will make it easier for you to find the right one to fund your education.
- Federal Government – A grant from the federal government is specified amount of money given by a U.S. government agency to individuals who qualify for financial assistance. One of the most popular federal grants is the Federal Pell Grant, which helps students in need with the cost of attending school. In order to apply for a federal grant, you must fill out a FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or obtain a hard copy of the application and send it in.
- State Government – Many states provide students with the opportunity to qualify for college grants based on their need, merit, or intended degree. For instance, in Michigan, grants are available through the state government for low income students, non-traditional adult students, and those who are gifted academically.
- Private Universities and Colleges – While private colleges and universities may seem expensive, most students don’t actually pay the listed tuition price. Often, private colleges negotiate the tuition (and provides grants and scholarships) for exemplary students, if they are willing to attend.
- Public and Quasi-Public Agencies – Public and Quasi-Public agencies, which are corporations in the public or private sector that are backed by the government to provide certain services, often provide grants for college students. One such example is the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority, which provides qualified full-time students with $250 to $700 based on a financial need of at least $1,000.
- Private Companies, Corporations, and Foundations – While obtaining a grant through a corporation, foundation, or private company is not as common as obtaining state or government grants, these types of grants are a fantastic way for students to fund their education. Each year, companies like Coca-Cola, Target, and Walnart award qualified applicants with thousands of dollars that can be used for tuition, books, and regular costs of living.
College Grant Categories
As you are searching for grants, you will be better able to locate the ones you need by looking at the four main grant categories.
- Student-Specific – While many different types of students apply for grants, there are several types of grants that embrace specific populations. Some of the most popular are those for non traditional students, low income students, and military students.
- Subject- Specific – Many professional organizations will provide students with grants if students intend to obtain their education and become employed in certain career fields. This allows the organization to foster their fields of interest and drive student toward specific careers.
- Degree Level – Many college grants are based on degree level, such as undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate. An undergraduate may not be able to obtain the same grant as a student going for their doctorate, and vice-versa.
- Minority – The number of minority students graduating from four year institutions has been steadily rising, thanks to minority grants and scholarships. African American students, Hispanic students, Native American students, and Asian American students can all benefit from the various minority-specific grants available from the government, states, and local organizations.
Applying for College Grants
Are you ready to apply for college grants?
Once you locate your college grant online, begin the process by filling out the application completely with all requested information.
Check your application for errors before you submit it, and always remember to keep track of any deadlines associated with applying for the grant.
Think you can’t afford college?
Take a step toward earning your education today by applying for a college grant to fund your education.