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College grants are a kind of financial aid that you don’t need to pay back. Grants for college students may help pay for tuition, books, housing and other school expenses.
Like a scholarship, grants for college are free money that you can use to fund your education. Unlike student loans which you have to reimburse, you only pay back a grant under a few conditions. For instance, if you withdraw early from a program or change your enrollment status.
Both scholarships and grants are forms of gift aid. This means, it is money you can use for college that you do not need to earn or repay. Either a grant or a scholarship may help you answer the question “how can I pay for college without going into debt?” But the terms are not interchangeable.
Grants are usually awarded based on student financial needs. Popular grants that college students apply for are available through:
Scholarships are usually awarded based on student merit. Things like academic, athletic or artistic talents. Many scholarships are available through:
The number of students attending 4 year colleges and receiving aid is on the rise.
At last count, the federal government awarded $30 billion dollars in need based grants. Recent figures show that 63.3% of college undergraduates receive grants. The average amount of grant money received by a college student is $7,400.
Eligibility to receive a grant for college tuition varies. But to qualify for federal student aid one needs to meet a few basic requirements. These are:
Grants for college students 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 your GPA at certain level.
Merit based grants often factor in an applicant’s grades, commitment to community service and leadership. Instead of your family income. Receiving one might add some prestige to your college transcripts. Your home state may have a variety of grants like this.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers a range of federal grants. These need based grant programs provide free college money. 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:
The EFC is your Expected Family Contribution. In other words, what you can afford to pay for college. State grants may boost your college fund too. This can help if your EFC is low, and your federal financial aid doesn’t cover your tuition.
To come to a number, an EFC asks for several things. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits. Benefits include unemployment or Social Security. It might also factor in in the size of your family and if more than one person will be attending college in the same year.
The four main types of federal grants that provide funds for college are:
When looking for federal grants to pay for college, there are some steps to take:
Some organizations and corporations also sponsor grants. These grants often reward students who excel in high school and plan to study in a specific field. They may line up with colleges that have these programs. Or, allow a student to use the money at the college of their choice. Free college grant money may be available if you fall into one or more of the following categories too:
The Department of Education in your state may help you find grants to help you pay for college. Most states offer need based college grants in amounts determined by your FAFSA. You may need to maintain a GPA, be a resident and/or pursue specific majors.
Check out our list of college grants below. We have 946,206 awards worth $4B.
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!
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!
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!
In honor of promoting and supporting diversity, these grants are offered to minority students!
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.
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The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.