Education can be expensive, but grants may help you get some of the money you need to pay for college. With grants, unlike loans, you don't have to pay back the money, so they're well worth pursuing.
What Are Grants?
Simply put, grants are money you receive for college that you do not have to repay. However, grants usually won't cover all college expenses, so you'll probably need to supplement them with further student financial aid.
Government Grants Provide Money for College
The federal government is the first place to look for financial aid resources that might be available to students. Federal grants are based on students' financial need. The largest federal grant program is the Federal Pell Grant, helping undergraduate students cover their college expenses. If you have "exceptional financial need," you can also get money for college with the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). To be considered for any federal student financial aid, you need to file an FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Individual states help students by giving students money for college with the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) program. Based on financial need, the amount you receive for a grant depends on the estimated amount you or your family members are expected to contribute, cost of college attendance, whether you attend college full or part time, and whether you attend college for the full academic year. Each state has its own application, so check with your state higher education office.
Private Sources Also Offer Student Financial Aid
Although the federal government provides the majority of student financial aid, many private foundations and colleges also offer grants that could help by giving you money for college. Sources that offer money for college can be found on websites or in books at your local libraries, bookstores, and high school guidance offices.
As long as you submit your FAFSA, however, you have a start toward obtaining additional money for college. In addition, when you apply for grants through the FAFSA, the federal government will automatically consider you for both federal subsidized and federal unsubsidized loans.
Federal Student Aid