WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COLLEGE GRANTS
Today, few students are capable of paying their education bills. For the economically weaker segment of the society, affording college education is not a piece of cake. For these people, college grants can provide the support they need. Grants are quite different from scholarships and student loans. Unlike student loans that are supposed to be paid back, a grant is more of a gift from the government. If you have a significant need, you are eligible to apply for the college grants as they are need-based, unlike scholarships which are primarily merit based. The purpose of college grants is to minimize the educational fund requirement by the students and to seek the grant money; for which students have to start searching by student-type or subject-specific grants. However, there is certain criteria that must be met before the grants are made available to the students to assist their education.
The college grants are basically divided into following categories which makes it easier for the students to select before applying for the grant money:
- Degree Level
There is no reason for a student to be denied college education because he does not have sufficient money to pursue higher studies. Looking at this growing need, the Federal and State governments as well as private foundations and colleges themselves offer need-based grants to the most financially disadvantaged students. The Pell Grant can be the best gift received by a financially-strapped student. Most recently, grants for disabled students have also been introduced so that their studies are not affected. Special college grants are present for children of military families such as the Army’s Spouse Education Assistance Program or the Spouse Tuition Aid Program.
Undergraduate grants are also available for students ranging from low-income groups and disadvantaged students to specialized grants in engineering, doctorate, math and science. The minorities are also coming up fast in the field of college education and their numbers have risen considerably in the four year degree courses. Now special grants for minorities are also available, to make education accessible to them. In order to find the best grant, it is necessary to conduct appropriate research. With the plethora of specific requirements and deadlines for grants, the earlier you begin your research, the more likely you can obtain the best grant for yourself.
Consider your specific academic situation, and find the grants that may apply to you. Do a research for grants in your degree, your school year, and any disadvantaged or minority group for which you qualify. Not only are there a bevy of online research databases, but your university and department’s academic counseling office can also provide you with grant information.
Although researching on to how to apply for grants takes time, the financial rewards are certainly worth the effort. Remember that a number of sources exist for free college grant money, so do not lose hope and keep searching till you find one that suits you.