A guest post by Bobby Touran – CEO of ApplyKit
Government grants for college are extremely helpful in financing your college education. Often referred to as “gift aid,” grants are great because they don’t need to be repaid, unlike loans. Many grants are need-based, rather than merit based, like scholarships. In this post, I’ll break down the different types of grants and share ways that top students find and secure those federal grants for college.
Grants are available from federal, state and local governments. The Department of Education offers several. Also, check with your state board of education. They may be able to direct you to statewide programs. They may also be able to direct you to local grants in your city. This is well worth checking out before you begin college.
The Federal government offers four basic types of grants. The most common of these are Pell Grants. These can easily be applied for while completing your FAFSA application. They are awarded to students who have already completed some college. So, don’t count on them for your first-year expenses. The amount you receive from a Pell Grant will depend on your family’s income and the cost of the school you’ll be attending.
Pell Grants are also offered to students who have parents die in the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is available to low-income students. If you were awarded a Pell Grant, you’re more likely to receive a FSEOG award. The financial aid office at that specific college administers these awards. Not all schools participate in the program, so it’s important to check with your institution.
If you’ve served in combat, there may be even more grant money available for you. Take a look at Grants.gov for more information about various grants offered by the Federal Government for needy students. Also, if you want to be a teacher, consider applying for a TEACH Grant. This money is available for students willing to teach in disadvantaged areas for several years after graduation. If you’re unable to teach where required, your grant will convert into a loan.
State and Local Grants for College
The type and availability of college grants varies by state. The Federal Department of Education maintains a list of sources for state grants on their website. Also, if you live in or near a large city, check at your local City Hall for grants that are specifically designated for students in your area.
Things to Keep in Mind While Applying for Grants
Nearly all government grants for college require you to complete your FAFSA form before applying. So, make sure you have completed that financial form ahead of time. Although grants don’t need to be repaid if you make your way through college, many will need to be paid back if you fail out or don’t graduate. So make sure you’ll be able to finish your enrollment before taking government grants.
Grants are one of the best ways to pay for your college education, so get the process going and start taking advantage of them!
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Bobby Touran is the founder and CEO of ApplyKit. ApplyKit helps students manage their entire college application process and also provides key resources to help them excel every step of the way. Visit http://www.applykit.com/and create a free account today!