Grants for College

Perhaps, the most well-known grants to attend college are the Federal Pell Grant Program administered by the Federal Government. These grants are provided to low-income students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend an institute of higher learning. Pell Grants are awarded to students who are undergraduates and certain post baccalaureate students to promote access to post secondary educational opportunities. They are, therefore, need-based grants with eligibility requirements strictly regulating who receives them. Award amounts are based on financial need with a ceiling of
$5,500.00. Students wanting access to such funds must illustrate financial need, provide costs to attend a particular school or university, student status (full time or part-time), and if they plan to attend a school for an academic year or less.

Overall, some 5,400 post secondary institutions participate in the Pell Grant Program so the student needs to check with the school’s Financial Aid Office to ensure that the institute selected actually accepts these grants.

Students hoping to obtain Pell Grants must demonstrate financial need. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) applies a standard formula as established by Congress to evaluate all financial information provided by the student and his or her family. The single most important qualifiers are student income and family financials. In order to understand how this formula works, students can check it with the Department of Education or through the school’s Financial Aid Office.

One other important piece of information for students seeking grants – either the Pell Grant or state grants. The student must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Other grant opportunities exist for students. As stated earlier, states provide grants for college. Students should make every effort to understand how the state they reside in administers these grants, what the criteria and eligibility requirements involve, and proceed to provide any and all financial information to support their grant application to their state. And, here again, criteria and eligibility are related to income levels, and need.

Often overlooked by students and their families are private foundations and corporations that provide scholarships. While conducting such a search to identify potential foundations and corporations can be time-consuming, students who demonstrate need, or merit, or high academic achievement, should begin this process early as foundations can, in fact, provide significant funding. Start early, and be prepared to conduct extensive and intensive research in this area. And, of course, check with the college or university being attended, the school counselor for high school seniors to assist in this endeavor. Overlook no opportunity in the search to search grants for college.

The college experience is wonderful! And it is becoming increasingly expensive. If a student qualifies for a Pell Grant, then begin the application as early as possible – providing the required paperwork can take. Understand the state process in regards to grants for college, and most certainly identify potential private funders – foundations, corporations, and even local businesses.

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