Education Grants – Money for College You DON’T Need to Pay Back
The average cost of tuition for a 4-year college in the United States is approximately $25K for in-state students and $40K for out-of-state students. And that’s not even taking into account living expenses like food and housing.
However, there’s a better way to pay for your education.
Grants provide students of all ages with FREE money for college, technical school and more! And the best part? You never need to pay any of this money back.
So, how exactly can you get your hands on an education grant?
Read the sections below to find out about what types of grants are available, who is eligible and how to apply!
EDU Grants provide up to $6,895 for those who qualify!
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What Do Education Grants Cover?
What do education grants cover? Well, it depends! The simple answer is pretty much anything.
Many grants and scholarships give you a lump sum of money that you can use for any of your education needs without restrictions, whether you decide to spend it on textbooks for a class or to pay for housing.
However, there are grants that need to be used for a specific purpose.
Grants that are specifically for tuition, for example, are often paid directly to your school to guarantee that money will only be used for your education. These types of grants include Pell Grants, which are need-based grants paid for by the government.
But for the most part, you can use an education grant to pay for any of your expenses, like:
- School materials
- Living expenses
- Midnight snacks
So, don’t wait until it’s too late! Check out grant options before your next semester starts!
What Types of Grants Can You Get?
There are two main types of grants that you can get: merit-based grants and need-based grants.
Merit-based grants, also known as scholarships, can be awarded for things like good grades, winning some sort of competition or excelling in a certain field.
For example, you can get a grant for a specific college program, like literature, if you write a promising essay to get into a school. Or you may even be able to get a grant for having a high SAT or ACT score.
These grants can be provided by the state or federal government, educational institution or private organizations.
Need-based grants are usually given to those with low-income or those who need extra help paying for education.
These grants are usually based on your household income and are provided by the federal government or the school itself.
Between these two categories of grants, you can find financial-assistance grants and scholarships for almost anything! The list below shows only a few grant options that could be available to you:
- Pell Grants – These grants are provided by the federal government and are only for low-income students who have not yet received a bachelor’s degree.
- Education Grants for Women – These grants are often given to mothers who are attending college and need extra money for childcare, housing or both.
- Education Grants for Minorities – These grants are usually awarded by schools or private organizations and aim to help struggling minority groups afford an education.
- Education Grants for Online Students – These grants are most often given by online programs or private organizations to make it easier for students to complete a degree online.
- Education Grants for Adults – These grants are available to adults of all education levels who wish to return to school to advance their careers, whether it’s trade school, college or a higher education program.
- Education Grants for Higher Education: These grants are usually merit-based and require some form of written proposal or proof of the merit of your studies. It varies from field to field, depending on your field.
The list goes on and on.
If you take the time to look and do just a little bit of research, you can find multiple grant opportunities that will make paying for your education a lot easier.
How Much Grant Money Can You Get?
It really depends on what type of grant or scholarship you get. Pell Grants, for example, are the most common type of financial aid grant and they award about $6,895 a year on average for the 2022-23 school year. The maximum Federal Pell Grant for the 2023–24 award year (July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024) is $7,395.
On the other hand, scholarships awarded for essay competitions or minority standings average about $1,000.
Individual schools can also provide scholarships and financial aid separately from government grants or independent scholarships.
These funds can cover room and board or even your complete school tuition if you excel in a certain field like math, science or even sports. Take advantage of it!
Always check for scholarships and grants with the school you are applying for. They may have specific department grants or other scholarships you may qualify for!
Here’s How it Works
Depending on what type of grant you’re applying for, the eligibility requirements and application method may differ. Below are a few tips on how to apply for merit-based and need-based grants.
Who is Eligible?
For need-based grants like Pell Grants, you need to be able to show proof of financial need. Usually, this means your total household income is at or below the federal poverty level for your state.
Depending on where you fall on the federal poverty line, you may be eligible for more or less financial aid for college.
For merit-based grants, you will need to meet the specific requirements of the grant or scholarship you are applying for. This can be a specific SAT score, an outstanding essay or any other academic achievement.
You may also qualify for minority scholarships if you belong to the minority group eligible for that grant.
What Do You Need to Apply?
For need-based grants like Pell Grants, you usually only need to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.
However, for merit-based scholarships it all depends. Sometimes you will need to write an essay, other times you will need to show proof of community service or an outstanding academic achievement.
Be sure to check all the requirements for the specific grant or scholarship you are applying for before sending in an application!
Where to Apply for Student Financial Aid?
For need-based grants, you will always need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application can be found on government aid websites only, so be sure you are on a verified site before filling out an application.
Once you have a completed FAFSA, you can apply to Pell Grants and other need-based grants easily through government websites.
After your FAFSA has been processed, a Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to you within 3 to 10 days. This report is what you will send to the college you wish to attend so that the institution can create your student benefit package depending on your financial needs.
Another great place to look and apply for grants is the website of the school you plan to attend. School websites usually have huge lists of available scholarships by department, so you have a good chance of finding a grant specific to your program.
You can find scholarships through private organizations that support minorities or movements you are part of. For example, if you’re Hispanic, you may be eligible for a scholarship given by a Hispanic organization.
Finally, your best resource for scholarship hunting is the world-wide-web. You can use trusted scholarship websites, or simply google specific types of grants you’d like to apply to.
Do your research and don’t stop searching because there’s an education grant (or multiple grants) out there that will help you pay for the education you deserve!
Best Places to Find Education Grants
Struggling to figure out where to start your grant search? Get more information about the best places to look for grant options today!
How Long Does it Take To Get Your Money?
If you receive a Pell Grant or other need-based grant through your educational institution, your money will be disbursed every semester to cover tuition costs. If there are any delays with your disbursement, you will need to contact your school’s financial aid office for help.
If you win a scholarship, it all depends on the deadline for the reward. Some merit-based grants can be paid directly to the school every semester, such as programs like Florida Bright Futures, while others like essay writing competitions can be rewarded at any time.
Because there are so many types of scholarships and grants available, it’s always important to check the specific rules that apply to your prize money or financial aid, so be sure to always read the fine print!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through all the important steps you need to take to get FREE money for college.