Grants are a form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid. They are often awarded to students based on financial need and can help pay for tuition costs and other educational expenses.
Grants can come from a variety of funding sources including the federal government, state government, colleges and universities or private funding.
The first step in applying for any grant program is filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This will help determine your financial eligibility for aid including grants.
Federal College Grant Programs
This is the most common federal grant and is awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This is a federally funded grant for undergraduate students who have unmet need after they have received a Federal Pell Grant. This is reserved for the students who have the greatest financial need.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
This is a federally funded grant for students who agree to teach in an underserved area. The student will receive a grant amount up to $4000 per year in exchange for his or her service.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
This is a federal grant for students whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11. There are certain age and income eligibility requirements for this grant.
If you meet the financial eligibility requirements for federal student aid then you most likely qualify for some form of State Grant. The first step in determining your eligibility for State aid is to apply for the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
Each state has its’ own grant programs, funding and eligibility requirements. There are different types of state grant programs: need based grants, merit based grants, minority grants, disability grants, military grants, foster-care youth grants and major-specific grants.
State aid that is awarded to students with financial need as determined by FAFSA. Some need-based grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check with your state’s higher education assistance authority for grants available in your area.
State grants that awarded based on academic achievement and merit. These are usually reserved for high achieving students and may be through nomination only.
Grants that are awarded to historically underserved students such as African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native American and Women Students.
Grants that awarded to students who have some form of disability. These grants may help pay for tuition and other educational expenses but also tools/aids.
Grants that awarded to military veterans and their spouses and dependents.
Foster Care Youth Grants
Grants that are awarded to students who were in foster care.
Major Specific Grants
Grants that are awarded to students who are pursuing specific often high-need areas such as teaching, technology, science, math and engineering.
College and University Grants
Grants that are awarded to students by an individual educational institution. These can be need-based, merit-based, minority-based, major-specific or have other eligibility criteria.
Grants that are from private funding sources such as individual donors, corporations, businesses or foundations.