Like scholarships, grants for college are free money to put towards your education. Grants are offered based on need and not merit as is the case with scholarships. The advantage of grants is that they typically don’t need to be repaid. This is what makes them so appealing to students. Grants are broadly classified as collegiate, state, federal and private. Non-profit organizations and private entities provide the private grants. State level grants cover specific areas of interest. These include field of study, career path, gender or ethnicity. If you can secure grant funding you’ll be in a good position to graduate without debt.
1. Federal Pell Grants
Pell Grants are federally funded. They are the largest education grants of its kind. Funding is based on a student’s financial need. The amount of funding is calculated using a couple of factors. These factors include the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), student status (full or part-time) and cost of attendance. The cost of attendance is calculated by the school and is dependent on the program of study. Student’s with a family income below $20,000 have a greater chance of getting approved.
The amount provided by a Pell Grant changes every year. During the 2018–2019 school year, the Federal Pell Grant was $6,095. The award for the 2019-2020 school year is $6,195. Children of public service officers who die on active duty can expect higher awards. There are many other benefits of applying for a Federal Pell Grant. For instance, students who receive approval can also be considered for other school grants. Additional school grants include the Academic Competitiveness Grant, FSEOG and SMART grant.
Steps for applying for the Federal Pell Grant:
- Choose the schools you want to attend. List up to 10 schools as indicated by FAFSA.
- Download and fill out your FAFSA with accurate information. Be truthful with the information you provide. Your application could be rejected if you provide false information.
- Upon approval, the information will show on the FAFSA applications submitted to the listed schools.