There are many types of educational grants for students that work hard and get good grades. These are called Merit Grant Programs and are financial aid tools to award students who have outstanding academic achievement. These grants are offered by both the federal and state government agencies and are a great way to subsidize the cost of college. Two of the most popular merit grants are listed below.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is perhaps the most recent of these merit grant programs. This is relatively new student grant that was put into motion by the federal government back in 2006. It is available to students in their first and second years of post-secondary study and is awarded to students who have taken a rigorous course load of studies in their final high school years to better prepare them for their continuing studies.
At a minimum requirement students must have completed the following: 4 years of English; 3 years of mathematics, including algebra I and a higher-level class such as algebra II, geometry, or data analysis and statistics; 3 years of science, including one year each of at least two of the following courses: biology, chemistry, and physics; 3 years of social studies; 1 year of a language other than English. Keep in mind that for each graduating year the list of rigorous secondary school programs may incur slight changes. Further eligibility requirements include that the applicant: be a U.S. citizen; be a Federal Pell Grant recipient; be enrolled full-time in a degree program; and have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant provides $750 for the first year of study and $1,300 for the second year. You can apply for this grant online or get information from their high school guidance office.
Then there is the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (aka. National SMART Grant). This particular merit grant program is offered to students in their third and fourth years of post-secondary study. They are offered to students pursuing degrees in subjects deemed high demand and vital to national security, by the US government. These college majors include science, mathematics, technology, engineering, and critical foreign languages, to name a few.
In order to be eligible for the National SMART Grant students must: be U.S. citizens; be Pell Grant-eligible during the same award year; be pursuing full-time studies in one of the outlined majors; be a 3rd or 4th year student in said major; and have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale as of the end of the second award year and continue to maintain a 3.0 GPA. Successful applicants of this merit grant can expect to receive up to $4,000 for each of the 3rd and 4th years of undergraduate study.
Merit based grants are the ideal way to help pay for your education. They can help you afford college without having to go into serious debt. Anyone can go to college so long as they put in the effort to find appropriate financing options!