Grants For College

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What Are Grants For College?

Grants for college are a type of financial aid that you may not need to pay back. Grants for college students may help pay for tuition, books, housing and other school expenses.

Like scholarships, student grants for college are money that you can use to fund your education. Unlike student loans which often require repayment, grants under certain conditions may only require the recipient keep up with their studies and attend classes as scheduled while receiving this benefit from an organization or government agency.

Who Can Get Grants For College?

Any student attending college may be eligible for grant money. Grants are typically need-based, so students with the greatest financial aid needs may receive the largest awards. Students may apply for federal, state and institutional grants when they fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The information collected on the FAFSA form is used to determine your eligibility for federal, state and school aid.

Eligibility to receive a grant for college varies. But to qualify for federal student aid one needs to meet a few basic requirements below:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number 
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male between the ages of 18 and 25
  • Sign the FAFSA form certifying that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program 
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal student loan
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in college

Types Of Grants For College Students

Student grants for college are more often need based but some are merit based too. These grants may have a performance indicator. This might mean you need to maintain a certain GPA.

Some grants may only be available to students from certain backgrounds or who are studying specific subjects. Here are some of the most popular types of grants for college:

  1. Federal Grants: Typically, the largest source of college grant aid comes from the U.S. government. Students may receive federal grants by completing the FAFSA form. 
  1. State Grants: Students may also be eligible for state-sponsored grants. These programs vary by state, so students should check with their state’s higher education agency to learn more. 
  1. Institutional Grants: Many colleges and universities offer institutional grants to help their students pay for school. These grants are often based on financial need, but some may be merit-based or awarded to students in specific majors or programs. 
  1. Private Grants: Private organizations such as foundations, corporations and religious groups also offer grant money for college. These grants are often need-based, but some may be awarded based on merit or for students studying specific subjects. 

Federal Grants That Pay For College

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers a range of federal grants. These need based grant programs provide students with money for college. They are usually for students attending four year colleges or universities, community colleges, and career schools. The amount of money each person receives may depend on:

  • Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) 
  • The cost of attendance at your school 
  • Your enrollment status (full-time or part-time) 
  • Whether you plan to attend school for a full academic year or less

The four main types of federal grants that provide funds for college are:

  1. Federal Pell Grants: These need-based grants are typically the largest source of federal grant money. They are often awarded to eligible undergraduates who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.
  1. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG): FSEOG grants are typically awarded to undergraduates with exceptional financial need. These grants are often awarded by the school and range from $100 to $4,000 per academic year.
  1. Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants: TEACH Grants are usually available to students who plan to become teachers in high-need fields at schools that serve low-income students.
  1. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants: These need-based grants are often awarded to students whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001.

State Grants That Pay For College

In addition to federal grant programs, many states offer grant money for college. These state-sponsored grant programs typically have less competition and may be easier to qualify for than federal grants.

The Department of Education in your state may help you find grants to help you pay for college. Many states offer need based grants in amounts determined by your FAFSA. You may need to maintain a GPA, be a resident and/or pursue specific majors. 

What Are The Differences Of Grants and Scholarships?

The main difference between a grant and scholarship is that scholarships are usually merit-based, while grants tend to be need-based. Scholarships are awarded based on things like academic achievement, athletic ability, or extracurricular involvement. Grants, on the other hand, are typically awarded based on financial need.

Another key difference is that scholarships are typically awarded by colleges, private organizations, or corporations. Grants, on the other hand, are typically awarded by the federal government or state governments.

Finally, scholarship money often does not have to be repaid, while grant money may need to be repaid under certain circumstances (such as if you withdraw from school or fail to meet other requirements).

So, if you’re looking for money to help pay for college and don’t have the grades or test scores to qualify for a scholarship, a grant may be your best bet. And if you’re having trouble coming up with the money to pay back student loans, grants can may also be able to help with that.

List of College Grants

Check out our list of college grants options below. We have 321,429 awards worth $912M.

College Grants

Grants provide funding for college studies and research. They are provided through federal, state, and local, government programs as well as colleges, universities, and career or technical schools. Unlike scholarships, grants may come with specific conditions and obligations that the student must complete during the funding period. Learn more about what makes grants unique and find programs you're eligible to apply for today!

AWARDS: 190
TOTAL: $5M

College Grants For Women

Grants are available for women of all ages and majors who are attending or planning to enroll in a college or university. Depending upon the terms of the grant, these funds may be used for things like tuition, books, child care, travel, and other expenses. Click here to view the grants for women we've included within our financial aid finder, and start applying today!

AWARDS: 113
TOTAL: $579K

Fellowships For Graduate Students

Fellowships are short-term funding opportunities. Many are funding for a research project. The funds usually last 9 to 12 months. Students may receive the money in the form of tuition credits and/or stipends. Most fellowships do come with a tuition stipend. A stipend is a living allowance. It often pays out in fixed amounts rather than an hourly wage. Fellows don’t usually have to clock hours, though they do need to complete their project on the date agreed. Browse and apply today!

AWARDS: 584
TOTAL: $23M

Grants For Graduate School

If you're a graduate student, browse this directory to see what grants you can apply for to fund your education!

AWARDS: 14
TOTAL: $52K

Minority Grants

In honor of promoting and supporting diversity, these grants are offered to minority students! Find hundreds of minority grants for college!

AWARDS: 203
TOTAL: $2M

State Grants For College

Most states provide grants for students who are residents of the state and/or attending college within the state. Learn more about the types of grants that states provide and how to apply for these valuable sources of educational funding.

AWARDS: 320,331
TOTAL: $885M