Grants for College
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Start With Federal Grants
Free college grants are for students who want to go to college so in the future they can earn lots of money but they donít have lots of money to be able to go to college. Quite an irony! But that is basically the requirement to receive free college grants. Free college grants is a serious business in the U.S. U.S. department of Education provides more than $67 billion in loans, free college grants and campus-based aid every year to millions of students.
If you are planning to go to college or university but know that you would never be able to afford it on your own, or with the help of your family for that matter, one of the first places you need to look in order to find financial aid is the United States Department Of Education. Acting to try and lift the educational level of the masses and to provide a brighter future for its citizens, the government's federal aid packages can really help to fulfil your hopes and dreams and make education affordable. There is so much help available out there via federal grants that there is no reason at all why an individual with talent should not go to university.
Financial circumstances can indeed prevent some of America's brightest sparks from fulfilling their potential and going to university or college. Families with a low income may not be able to afford to lose a wage, a single parent may have children to look after and cannot give up his or her source of income or a family may not be able to afford to send their child to college for fear of draining the finances they need to look after the second and third children. Whatever the reason, federal grants are designed to ensure that these factors do not play a part in major decisions and that the university spot can be filled if an individual does want to go.
It might not come as a surprise to find out that the majority of the funding given to students all over America is provided by the federal government. It now has the power as the largest student aid source on the continent to ensure that individuals from lower class families can afford to send their children to school. In truth, it adds up to over $80 billion a year in aid at the moment and that looks set to rise into the future because there are actually more grants added to the list every single year. However, it is not just the grants they offer that can help out poorer families, it is also the work-study assistance payments that are made to single parent families and those that cannot afford to drop a wage but live just above the poverty line. Whatever the situation, there is a way to help individuals in need that do want to fulfil their potential.
The beauty of federal aid is that it does not charge an individual to apply for funding. If you wanted to apply for a scholarship, for example, then you would have to pay an administration fee that does not even guarantee that your application gets read. However, if you do apply for federal aid funding then you do not have to pay a single penny and you application will always be reviewed before you are informed of the decision. You will always get a reason why too, which makes a nice refreshing change!
By going to the website at http://studentaid.ed.gov, you can check whether you are eligible for federal aid yourself. There is a calculator on there with complete instructions that pertain to how to use it. By inputting your personal or family income figures, you can see just how much you may be entitled to. Of course, it has to be properly assessed first, but at least you will know before sending off an application and hoping for the best!
The federal aid website is an excellent resource for any student looking to go to university or college. Not only is there a wealth of information on the federal grants available, such as the low income grants, there is also an entire section of the website dedicated to other sources of funding so that an individual can browse through at his or her leisure. It comes complete with instructions on how to apply for all of them so that you can really take a good look at what is out there for you to grasp! All in all, it is the complete website as far as financial aid is concerned and every student should take the time to look at it for inspiration and a little guidance!
The federal Pell Grant is one example of free college grants. This free college grants unlike loans do not need to be paid back. Eligibility for this free college grants is based on financial need. Amount in free college grants provided by Pell Grants change yearly depending on Congress. In the year 2000-01 school year, for instance, free college grants under Pell grants reached a maximum of $3,300.00. The amount of free college grants provided by Pell will also depend on costs to attend school, studentís status whether part-time or full time and the studentís desire to pursue a full academic year or less.
Another free college grantsí program is campus-based aid programs. In this program, free college grants can be availed from Federal Supplemental Educationla Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS) and Federal Perkins Loans programs. Free financial grants can be administered directly by the financial aid office at each school. Federal funds for free college grants for these programs are given to the schools and distributed to the students upon the schoolís judgment.
To be eligible for these free college grants, one must:
- have qualified financial need
- have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate or pass an equivalent test approved by U.S. Department of Education
- be working to attain a degree or certificate
- be enrolled in an eligible program
- be U.S. citizen or qualified non-citizen
- have a valid Social Security Number
- register with Selective Service
- maintain satisfactory grades while studying
Persons who have been convicted with sale or possession of drugs are not eligible for free college grants. Despite ineligibility for free college grant, you must fill up free application for federal Student aid because you might qualify for other nonfederal or private free college grants.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid can be used to apply for all loans, free college grants and campus based student aid programs. The FAFSA Website will guide you every step of the way to complete your online application to avail of free college grants.
FAQs for Grants & Scholarships
Much is known about grants and scholarships in general. Their existence has been much documented over the years and everybody who has ever known anyone who has been to university or college in the recent past will know the rudimentary basics, but there is a lot more to scholarships and grants than meets the eye. There are fundamental questions that should be asked of every single scholarship before anyone wanting to go to college even applies for them because those questions often determine which ones are the best ones for you. If you ask the questions below then you will not go far wrong!
How long will my scholarship/grant last for?
This is a question that needs to be asked of every scholarship purely and simply because every scholarship is different. Some may only last for a year, others last for two and a few will last for the duration of your degree course. If you are counting on funding for the duration of your degree then you will need to ensure that the scholarships you apply for actually fulfil that want or need, whichever category that falls into. It may be that you need to contact the provider of the scholarship to check this detail because it may not be publicised in the literature that you receive.
What does my scholarship/grant encompass?
Again, this answer all depends on the individual scholarship. Most scholarships tend to be full scholarships so they encompass tuition and housing. The grants you can apply for usually only cover one aspect or another. In fact, that is not always the case. Some only designate a set amount of money for books or similar materials. You need to make sure that you know exactly what you will be applying for and what your scholarship or grant will be paying for because it does drastically vary. Certain scholarships actually designate a certain amount for you rather than covering a certain aspect of your study. For example, one school-based scholarship offers between $10,000 and $3000, depending on the nature of the award.
Where will my financial aid check go?
The majority of financial aid check will not go to you, but instead head straight to your school. The checks need to be payable to the college you will be attending because they are then used against costs, such as tuition and housing. If so much of a scholarship is towards living costs and has covered the rent then you may have that back, but the rest will go into your account at the college. There are very few exceptions to this rule. However, you may need to contact your college before applying to see what their procedure is.
What are the requirements I must meet in order to maintain my scholarship/grant?
If you have been awarded a scholarship then you will almost certainly be awarded it on a conditional basis. You would usually have to maintain a certain GPA in order to qualify, although that sometimes translates into certain subjects or classes rather than overall. Different bodies and colleges set different targets for the students that they have awarded money to, but this should be in the literature for you to read before you accept the offer. Every scholarship is conditional, but it is up to ascertain what those conditions are.
Can I hold more than one scholarship/grant at the same time?
That all depend on the terms and conditions of the scholarships as set by the body that administers the individual ones. The general rule is that you cannot hold more than one scholarship, but this is slightly different with grants. If you are awarded help from several bodies then you can take it, as long as you inform all sources that you hold more than one because this may affect their assessment. For example, you can hold a college and a federal hardship grant and you cannot have one without the other, but you do have to inform both parties of the help you are getting!
Leveraging the Internet & Your College to Find Additional Financing
The Internet is a wonderful resource that unites all of the information in the world that you could ever want or need. Most individuals use the Internet to scout universities and colleges that they may want to go to and do so in depth to ensure that they know everything they possibly an about it before applying. They may also research how to write a great application to enhance their chances of getting accepted onto the course of their dreams. However, the majority of students rely in the information that they are sent through from the various universities and high school guides when looking for funding to get them through college, but they should be tapping into the wonderful resource if they want to world of scholarships and grants to really open up!
The first thing an individual looking for a grant or scholarship should do is take a look at the finance pages of the university or college website that happened to be their first choice destination. Although there may not be many grant and scholarship names and details of how to apply on there, it would give an individual an idea of where to start. Many of the websites actually give a brief outline of the funding out there and will also touch on any department or college funding available too. You do not have to wait to apply for those either. Regardless of whether or not you have had an acceptance letter back or not, you can apply. The worst that could happen is that your application never makes the light of day if you do not get accepted. However, if you wait for an acceptance letter then the scholarships may have already been designated to others by that point. There is absolutely no harm in trying.
The next place to look is specialist websites. There are websites dedicated to pursuing grants and scholarships alone so they would be a good place to start looking for more in depth information. Many will describe just how to write a grant letter and apply for a scholarship. Obviously the requirements are slightly different for the various scholarships on offer and you have to read the requirements carefully to avoid your application being binned before it has even been read for consideration. It is important to read guidelines and advice articles because they will actually give you excellent guidance. They make points that you would not actually think of yourself and these points and tips could seriously enhance your application.
You can also find hints and tips on Internet sites that may not actually specialize in academic information. They can often be found on general websites that provide advice for teenagers in general and also those that offer careers advice. Finance is obviously a big part of career advancement because without adequate financial backing, it would be impossible for an individual to go to college or university at all.
Those websites will list the sources of scholarships and grants so you can investigate them further for yourself. You should write asking for information, visit the websites detailing the requirements and shortlist the grants and scholarships that you want to apply for before actually putting pen to paper, or starting to type as the case may be. Make sure that you have the full picture before you actually apply and you will get far better results!