As the cost of education rises, college students increasingly rely on financial aid in the form of loans. While loans help students pay for college, those students are consequently already in debt upon graduation. One way to avoid, or lessen the debt, is to seek out college grants. Grants are financial aid monies that do not require repayment. There are many public and private grants available.
One of the most common public grants is the Pell Grant. This grant requires a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form can be completed online and applying requires no additional steps beyond completing the FAFSA. The Pell Grant is based on income level, cost of college of attendance, and student status. Recently the maximum Pell Grant award was raised to $5645 annually.
Another public grant are those offered by individual states. These grants are often eligible to students attending state universities. Several states offer them to assist students with alleviating the cost of higher education. Most of these grants apply to in-state students but this is not always the case. These state-funded grants can be awarded based on need, merit and race. Some state grants require completion of FAFSA paperwork for application while others require further documentation. The grants vary from state to state so it is important to thoroughly research before applying.
In addition to public grants, privately funded grants are another source for paying a portion of college tuition. Some industries offer grants to students who focus their college studies on those fields of interest. Industries are invested in cultivating well-educated colleagues for the future. Some of these include agricultural, banking, hotel management, theater and journalism. Finding these grants requires some legwork but can provide portion of college tuition.
Aside from the industry-related grants, there are several student-specific grants. Female students, disabled students, non-traditional students and military students are some of the individuals who can benefit from privately funded grants. The various student-specific grants are often available through advocacy groups committed to improving the lives of people in the specific areas of focus. Each group will have its own procedures for applying for grants making it important to research them early ensure time to meet application deadlines.
Attending college is a worthwhile but costly investment. It is advantageous to investigate and apply for as many grants as possible. Grant awards range from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars in tuition a year. Any portion of college tuition funded by grant monies is only less money students will owe upon graduation. Therefore, it makes sense for students to put in the effort up front to locate and apply for eligible grants to save money in the long run.