Grants and scholarship are given to students who need financial assistance. Unlike Loans, Grants and Scholarships do not have to be payed back.
Grants are need based, whilst scholarships are merit based. Grants and Scholarships can be given by the Government (Federal and State), universities, colleges and private non-profit organizations.
Though Grants are free, they might have to be repaid if you withdraw from school.
Types of Grants
The U.S department of Education gives grants to students in 4-year colleges and career schools, minority groups, and to students with disabilities.
Private organizations also give grants based on merit, social status or religious affiliations.
Both Private Organizations and the Federal government offer grants based on a specific field of study, type of school and other opportunities.
The categories of grant available from both government and private or organizations are as follows
There are 2 types of Government Grants. Federal and State Grants.
Every year, the Federal Government allocates funds for scholarship and grants to aid students with financial and tuition needs.
One of such of grants for low-income earners is the Pell Grant.This grant is given when either cannot sponsor his or her education or comes from a family that cannot save enough for their child’s college fees.
The amount that the federal government gives out to benefactors is not fixed. It usually depends on the allocated amount and the number of listed benefactors.
Academic Competitiveness (AC) Grant
Academic Competitiveness (AC) Grant is one of the specific purpose grants given by the federal government to people with excellent academic track record to help them fulfill their academic dreams.
Benefactors of this grant are usually from sophomores (high school student) upwards. It is also given to students with low income or from families with low income.
National Science & Mathematics To Retain Talent Grant
Another specific purpose grant that you can get from the Federal Government is the National Science & Mathematic to Retain Talent (SMART) grant.This type of grant is given to high school and college students (junior or senior), who are doing well in science based subjects.
The state grants follows after the federal style of allocating money for educational scholarship and grants. These grants are general and specific purpose driven like the federal grant but are even more specific with different application criteria.
NOTE: To benefit from any of these government grants you must first meet the required criteria before applying, otherwise you may not be listed as a benefactor.
Pell grants are given to mainly low income earners. It can be at federal or state level to individuals or family who cannot save from their little income for college fees.
Career Focused Grants
Career focused grants are grants designed to help and encourage students to pursue a particular discipline or field of specialization.
This type of grant can sometimes be given to people who want to be a business owner and running their own garage or flower shop.
People who are interested in public service, such as, a social worker can also benefit from this kind of grant.
Here are some of the educational and skilled focused categories of grants:
These grants can come from federal or state governments, public or private organizations and philanthropic bodies.
Grants for Minority
Grants for minorities arebased on ethnicity. To benefit from this type of grant you either have belong to ethnic groups that face academic and social challenges or have a disability or a special impairment in learning skills.
Examples of suchgrants are:
Grants by Student Type
There are special or purposed focused grants availablefor students who are single mothers, low income earners, adult with a desire to further or complete their educational careers.
Here is a listing of Grants by Student Type:
Grants by Type of School
Grants are also available according to level of education and type of school that you are attending or planning to attend. There are:
College Based Grants
This kind of grant comes from Colleges. Different colleges have different kind of grants and have different criteria in awarding their grants. Some College grants are based on need, health issues, low income, academic and sports performance.
How to Get Grants
The criteria for getting a grant differ, depending on the type of grant. Usually these criteria or requirement and details of how to apply are spelled out to applicants before they apply for the grant.
The application route is also stated. The organization giving out the grant states the requirement in line with the type of grant.
To get grants from government or non-governmental organizations you will have to first know when the grantsare available as well as understand the requirements.
If there is a website to any organization providing a grant, you should visit the site often for news about their grants.
You should also visit both government and philanthropic websites for grant updates.
One trick I often give is to sign up for a Google alert to your email on the Grant of interest. Every time there is a new post on the web that mentions that grant, you will get email from Google.
You can also ask financial aid officers for direction on where and how to get grant information. The internet is your best resource for your grant search.
To get a college grant, the first step to getting a grant is by filling the FAFSA application.
If your family has an income of $50,000 and above you may be eligible for need based grants but most grants go to students from families with $20,000 and below.
After filling the FAFSA form you would have to work closely with your college advisor to determine how much is available and you can receive.
Most grants go to undergraduates but are also granted to students studying for their first professional degree.
If you are eligible for a Pell Grant, you are most likely eligible for other grants like the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program (FSEOG).
This grant is for students with deep financial needs and amounts can range between $100 to $4000 depending on the college and EFC.
The Academic Competitiveness grant is another kind of grant that is available to Pell Grant recipients.
This grant ranges between $750 to $1300 and is usually given to sophomores. There is also the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant that provides up to $4000 for your 3rd and 4th years if you major in Math, Science and some liberal art courses.
There are many scholarships out there. Any student looking for scholarship has is usually faced with a wide range of options. This is not to say that scholarships are easy to get.
Government (federal or state) and philanthropic and professional scholarship are available for different class of people.
These scholarships can be general (open for everybody) or specific (for only a group of people) to meet a particular aim.
Scholarships can be granted based on religious affiliations, your academic performance, being good at a particular sport and so on.
Some of the common types of scholarships available are;
Search for available scholarships on the following website:http://kaarme.com/kscholarships/gateway/246
As you search for scholarships, grant or financial aid you should be careful to spot out the trusted ones!
All over the internet are scholarship and grants scams as well apart from trust government and organizational site.
Here are tips on how to know spot financial aid, grants or scholarship scams:
There are many websites dedicated to helping students finding and selecting scholarships to apply for.
Scholarship Application Processes
Most scholarship application process can be tedious and demands diligence and extreme adherence to instructions.
When applying for any scholarships here are some facts you should know.