As of 2021, 61.8% of all high school graduates had enrolled in a college. This shows how many students are pursuing higher education options.
The problem with so many students going to college is the competition. College grants are high in demand, and the majority of students want to get one.
If you are a high school student going to college, this may be a problem you run into. That is why you need to understand the best way to get a college grant.
Keep reading to find out how to get government grants for college.
What Are College Grants?
You may not understand exactly what a grant is. This is common sense there are all kinds of college terms you may have heard about.
A college grant is a type of financial aid available for college students. It is not the same as a college loan since you are not borrowing any money.
The majority of grants do not require that you repay them at any point. They’re given out based on need since some students may not be able to afford college.
You have to meet certain requirements to apply for a grant. This is why they’re considered to be a bit difficult to get depending on your situation.
Are Grants and Scholarships the Same?
You may be wondering if college grants and scholarships are the same things. This is a common question since the two can be a bit confusing.
The reality is that these are two completely different things. A college grant provides financial aid for those who wouldn’t be able to afford college.
Because of this, they’re given out to students for need-based reasons. On the other hand, scholarships are often provided based on merit.
Students may be able to receive scholarships if they have had exemplary grades. They may also apply if they have academic achievements or show substantial qualities.
Both are relatively difficult to get, but grants have more strict requirements. Some students may be able to apply for both if they believe they qualify.
Who Can Get College Grants?
The good news for college students is that anyone can try to get a grant. There is no set limit of income when it comes to choosing students that receive this.
That is why it is recommended that most students apply to get college grants. You never know if you may qualify and be able to receive this financial aid.
Who receives grants will also depend on your state and other factors. That is why some people may qualify when they don’t think that they will.
College is extremely expensive, and the majority of students could use financial help. This is also much better than relying on college loans that require you to pay them back.
The majority of college students walk away with significant debt. This can be very difficult to pay off even if they are entering a good career field.
How to Receive a Grant for College
If you are going to apply to get grants, there are certain steps to follow. This process is slightly different than other things you may be applying for regarding college.
It is also worth mentioning that you need to get started as soon as possible. All grant options have a time limit as well as the colleges you may be interested in.
To be able to use that financial aid, you need to make sure you turn everything in on time. You also have to consider the time it could take to be approved for a grant.
This is why many parents begin this process while their child is still in school. It helps them to get ahead of the rush and reduce any stress.
Fill Out the FAFSA
The first thing you need to do is fill out the FAFSA form online at the government website. This stands for free application for federal student aid.
If you want state or federal government grant options, this’s required. This is a form that showcases your eligibility for that financial aid.
You will need to answer questions about your income and your family’s income. All these things will contribute to whether you are eligible or not.
This is not necessarily a difficult form to fill out for students. But you should set aside plenty of time to tackle this task with others nearby to help if necessary.
All the information needs to be accurate, and you want to fill it out to the best of your abilities. Then all you have to do is submit the form online to have it reviewed.
You could always print it and mail it instead, but this will take significantly longer.
Find Out the Expected Family Contribution
Something you need to figure out is your expected family contribution. This is also referred to as EFC, which is very important, when it comes to grants.
This will determine your eligibility since you will be receiving financial aid already. The family contribution is considered to be a kind of aid that is helping you with your college costs.
The majority of students who have EFCs usually only apply for student loans. But don’t be discouraged by this, there are some instances where you still may be eligible for a grant.
You also need to keep in mind that grants are first come, first serve. There are only a limited number available, and most students are applying for them.
That is why you need to get started as soon as possible for the best results. You may be eligible, but if you apply too late, you may not be able to find any financial aid.
The next step of the process is going to be choosing a Grant. There are all kinds of Grant options depending on your circumstances.
This is why you should not lose hope too quickly since you may apply for one grant and not another. It is a good idea to do some research online to see what your options are.
This will also help you to find where the grant opportunities are to apply for. Make sure you have already filled out the FAFSA form before ever doing this.
The majority of grants won’t even consider you if you don’t have this form ready to go.
College Grant Options
Now that you know how to apply for college grants, what are your options? This is important to understand since it can determine your eligibility.
Certain life situations or financial issues could help you to qualify for specific grants. Some grants are also easier to get than others.
Here are some examples of college grants you should look into before applying.
There are all kinds of federal government grant options. These are the most common and provide the best range of opportunities.
This can get a bit confusing since there are quite a few options for federal grants. Here are some examples of options you may be able to qualify for.
Federal Pell Grants
One grant that is awarded based on financial need is the federal pell grant. This is the largest source of grants, providing the best chances of you getting one.
These are relatively easy to apply for if you have a FAFSA form ready to go. There are no strict standards for financial need, so this is worth trying out if you need financial aid.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
If you are looking for a unique grant, and academic competitiveness Grant is a good option. This is a combination of a scholarship and a grant for the most part.
This is because it is based on your financial need as well as your merit. Keep in mind that this is only available for college freshmen and sophomores.
If you have any noticeable academic achievements, this may be a great option.
This grant stands for federal supplemental educational opportunity grants. It is given out to low-income undergrad students who need financial aid.
It provides substantial aid for college tuition for those that are eligible. Keep in mind that this can be a bit strict since it is designated for very low-income individuals.
Another option you have is to create a CSS profile to get grants from your school. To create this application, you have to pay $25 and an additional $16 for each school.
This is a great option since you may have more luck getting a grant from a local school. This will also depend on your location and the schools you are applying to.
Something to consider is the option of getting a private grant. Individual personal grants can be awarded from private companies to specific students.
There are some companies and corporations that offer a limited amount of grants. These may be awarded based on financial need or other qualities about the student.
Some of these qualities include students from a single-parent homes or those with disabilities.
You could also try applying for a state grant if none of the other options have worked out. You can do this by contacting state grant agencies from the Department of Education
This can give you more leeway if you are worried about qualifying. States offer a variety of grants that you may be eligible for if you apply soon enough.
Keep in mind that these are limited, and it is first come, first serve.
Grants for Women
One option you may be interested in is grants for women. These grants make it possible for women with all kinds of backgrounds to pursue higher education.
It provides better opportunities for careers that were not always available for women. The rules for these grants are a bit confusing, so you may need to do a bit of research.
Some are general grants for women, and others are more specialized for certain circumstances.
Grants for Minorities
You could also apply for federal aid from grants for minorities. These grants are set aside for students of different ethnicities that may struggle more going to college.
There are plenty of grant options to help minorities get financial aid if they need it. This is often need-based, but your ethnic background can also help significantly.
International Students Grants
If you are an international student, you also have options. There are student grants available specifically for international students who need financial aid.
These options are quite limited, but you may still be able to snag a grant. This is a great way to help you cover college expenses in a completely different country.
Grants for National Organizations
There are some private and public grants available for disabled students. This makes it possible for them to pursue higher education even if they can’t afford it.
You will have to look specifically for these grants as there may be only a few options. They’re usually offered by national organizations for those with mental or physical disabilities.
This includes but is not limited to conditions like blindness or cystic fibrosis.
College Grants: The Ultimate Guide
If you want to attend college, you may want to look at college grants. This can be a great option that allows you to get financial aid to cover your college expenses.
There are plenty of options, but the most important thing is that you fill out the FAFSA form to be eligible.
Do you need help finding grants you may be eligible for? Visit this link to get more helpful information.
**Data collected and distributed by the National Center for Education Statistics https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2022/2022144.pdf
***Data collected and distributed by the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2022144