How to Get the Best Grants for College Students

Grants are financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid and often called as “gift aid” because they are free money. The basic difference between scholarships and grants is that the Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based.

Colleges are getting expensive year after year. Those are lucky whose parents set aside some money for the occasion. Those who have do not have this option available for them; can opt for getting a scholarship but that is a cake for merit students only. Remaining students can always try the student loan but those who don’t even have their finances in shape can go for government grants.

Student loans are not always supportive as they are to be repaid with interest. Students, opted for loans, sometime find it difficult to repay as the current job market is hard to enter and wages may be lower than expected.

There are many other grants along with government grant which are offered to students like grant for specific study, industry sponsored grants and college grants for women. College grants for women offer women a chance to attend the college and to get professional studies to reach to the area where women workers are in minority.

All interested in grants or in any federal student aid, can start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM). The eligibility criteria for applying for a government grant are:

  • U.S. citizenship, or U.S. nation, or eligible non citizen status
  • Submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form demonstrating financial need.
  • Poses a social Security number.
  • Pass the General Education Development (GED), High School Diploma or approved test.
  • Registration with the Selective Service program. (Only for males aged 18 to 25.)
  • Promise that the grant will be used exclusively for education.
  • Show satisfactory progress in academic subjects.
  • Currently study at an approved educational facility.

The U.S. Department of Education offers a variety of federal grants to students attending four-year colleges or universities, community colleges, and career schools.

  • Federal Pell Grants : this education grant is for only those undergraduate students, who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) : this educational grant is for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need.
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants :  Grant for those who plans to become a teacher in a high-need field in a low-income area. It requires you to take certain kinds of classes in order to get the grant, and then do a teaching job in low income areas to keep the grant from turning into a loan
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants is for those students whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) : for innovative students graduated from rigorous high school programs
  • National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) given in areas of mathematics, technology, engineering, physical science, life science, computer science, critical foreign languages, and non-major single liberal arts to enhance USA blobal competitiveness

After applying to, within seven to ten days applicant should get a letter your school’s financial aid office telling you if you are eligible for any state or federal grants.

Few Tips for application:Try to apply to as many sources as necessary to cover your expenses.

  • Write a grant application like you are presenting yourself as this improves your chances to get selected. Spelling mistakes, unclear writing can lead to rejection of application, write as good as you can write. Also you can take guidance from you well-wishers to fill the forms. If photos are required for any application, take the time to have brilliant headshot taken and copies made.
  • Try to communicate that why you are choosing the courses of study and what your plans for a future career are. Describe your Enthusiasm for your subject and dedication towards career.
  • Errors are easily missed so get another person to read it back to you. Only a well checked duly filled appealing application will win the Grant.

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