The U.S. Department of Education provides funds for federal grants. Schools, state programs, nonprofit groups and other third-party sources provide funding for general grants.
A federal education grant is more diverse, meaning it applies to more colleges as being nationally recognized. A general grant, on the other hand, will only be applicable in certain areas. For example, a general state grant will only help cover expenses for schools in the state. State-sponsored grants are usually awarded based on demographics and field of study.
Likewise, a general school grant covers education costs at that school. Many colleges have grants for low-income students. A FAFSA form typically serves as an application for school-sponsored grants, but you should check with your college for more details.
You may be able to find grants based on:
- Music or academic aptitude.
- Ethnicity or gender.
- Degree, field of study, or intended career.
- Financial need.
Some vocations provide grants to the children of workers. For instance, you may qualify for a grant if your parent is a firefighter, law enforcement officer, or emergency personnel. Likewise, there are grants for veterans and their immediate family members. If you are a ward of the state or in foster care, you may also meet the requirements for some local grants.
Some businesses and industries provide funding for students interested in pursuing degrees in the field. For example, a manufacturer may offer a grant if you are interested in an engineering degree. Similarly, your parents’ jobs may have money for children of employees.
Do an online search for available grants and scholarships. You will need to apply for ones not covered under the FAFSA form. Some may require you to write an essay stating why you should receive the grant.
Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG) provide money for low-income students with high academic standings in their first and second year of college. To qualify for these grants, you may need to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and enroll in college full-time. The maximum award for first-year students is $750, while the highest award for second-year students is $1,300.
The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) grant is similar to ACG. It offers funds for high academic achieving students from low-income households in their third and fourth year of college. The SMART grant gives up to $4,000 per student per year.
Other grants and financial opportunities provide funding for students in need. Check out the following ways to pay for college.
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