We all know college is costly. I graduated from college several years ago and I am still paying off college debt. Believe me college is a lot more expensive now than it was back then. It is because of my college debt that I push scholarships and grants so much to our clients. Each month a customized scholarship search list is sent to each client. They are encouraged to apply for each scholarship. The next best thing to scholarships is grants. Most grants for college are free money for students wanting to pursue a college education. There are three types of grants for students to look out for which are federal, state, and college grants. Below each type of grant is explained. When applying for any type of grant for school, always make sure to know deadlines and apply early. One other thing, make sure you know what it will take to maintain your grant during your college career.
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1. Federal Grants
The most common federal grants are Pell, FSEOG, and TEACH. The Pell Grant is given to undergraduate students based on financial need and enrollment status. Financial need is determined by the information you and your student submit on the FAFSA and the school’s cost of attendance. Basically financial need is the difference of your student’s Estimated Family Contribution which is located on the FAFSA and the school’s Cost of Attendance.
FSEOG(Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant) is given to student’s with the greatest need at the discretion of the university. There isn’t enough of this grant aid to give to everyone who could possibly be eligible so it is important that you complete your FAFSA as soon as possible. This grant is usually awarded as a last resort; after all other financial aid options have been exhausted.
The TEACH Grant (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) is awarded to those who agree to teach in a high-needs field in a low-income are for a certain length of time. This grant is usually offered to juniors and seniors in college who are majoring in education. It is very important that your student reads the fine print and make sure they understand all requirements because if the obligation is not met, the grant becomes an unsubsidized loan.
2. State Grants
Almost every state offers some form of financial aid. It is an incentive to stay and attend school in the state in which you reside. Most state application deadlines are early and some states have separate applications. The National Association of Federal Aid Administrators (NASFAA) offers a great resource on their website for finding financial aid in your particular state. All you need to do is select the state you live in and you will be directed to the state aid website where you will find what types of grants and scholarships are available.
3. College/University Grants
Some organizations offer matching grants to students who attend a certain school in which they support. An example would be religious organizations. Also, colleges offer full or partial tuition grants to students in specific fields of study. Tuition grants are usually at the graduate level.