Grants For College

Free grants are issued by the government as well as private and public organizations to make education affordable to all. These days education has become very costly. If you want to enroll in a private university or college you should be ready to pay a lot of fees. The cost of education is touching the skies. Not everyone can think of getting all their children educated in the best private colleges. This is where grants for college come into the picture.

Grants are in no way similar to scholarships or student loans. Scholarships are usually won on merit basis where you need to outperform as a student and student loans have to be applied for and are granted based on the needs of the applicants and also have to be repaid within a fixed period of time. A grant is more like free money. You don’t have to repay anything nor depend on your academic performance to have grants issued to you.


Who issues grants for college?

Now, the question is who gives the money for the grants for college. Well, there are numerous sources for the same. It could be the central or state governments, colleges, universities, public or private organizations. Many big companies donate money regularly to colleges and universities to issue educational grants to students as a part of their corporate social responsibility. Grants could be divided into various categories like it could be a student specific grant or subject specific grant or it could be related to the degree you are opting for or could be for minority communities, too. There are many grants exclusively for minorities or people with very low levels of income.


Federal Grants:

Federal grants are given on a much larger scale. The force behind federal grants is the No child left behind Act. These grants help in assuring that the basic right to education is met by making education affordable to all sections of the society. Thousands of students have benefited from this noble initiative. Now, more and more students are earning diplomas and degrees from good universities and colleges thanks to federal grants.

Grants for colleges have also helped in the development and up gradation of universities and colleges. Now you get the best in terms of education due to the many grants that have been issued by various different people under different categories. Grants for college are again divided into different groups. But the purpose of providing these grants remains the same which is up gradation of the educational system across globe. Many specialized programs or courses are accessible for people of the lower margins of society due to these grants. There are a lot of students seeking grants today. It would not be wrong to say that these grants have changed the lives of thousands of students across the globe by providing them the basic necessity of education at a much cheaper, affordable price. After all, everybody has a right to an education!


Additional Resources

FAFSA – Apply for Financial Aid
grants4college – College Grant Database

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Pell Grant

Grants for CollegePell Grant is a very special category of grants which was introduced in 1972. Pell Grant was especially introduced as a basic opportunity grant. It was designed particularly for the low income groups. It has been seen that people from middle and higher income groups are able to afford education but very few students from the lower income groups get an opportunity to avail educational benefits. In order to apply for Pell Grant you need to prove your desperate financial need and you also need to complete all your formalities and estimate your EFC (estimated family contribution). Each application is assigned a number based on disclosed financial information by the applicant; this number is referred to as EFC.


The basic requirements of Pell Grant:

The basic requirements to apply for Pell Grant are – the EFC number, whether the student is a full timer or a part timer and whether he is planning to participate in scholastic programs or not. The people who avail these benefits come from extremely poor families. They have earnings below $20,000 a year. The Pell Grant has no limits as far as the numbers of students who apply are concerned. It is issued to millions of students every year. Over the past few years Pell Grants awards have totalled $4000.


Rules related to Pell Grant:

These awards are released by the Federal government. The money is given to the college to fulfil the educational needs of needy students. This is for the students who have not had any bachelor’s degree so far. Pell Grant is enforced by the Higher Education Act of 1965. The HEA also has provisions of low interest student loans other than Pell grants. Any applicant who is willing to apply for Pell Grant should note that he cannot use this facility for more than one college. Once somebody had applied for it the student can collect the money, get the money sent to the college or pay the college themselves. The school has to give the student in writing as to how much the Pell Grant award will be and also the date and mode of payment. Every year the government decides the maximum amount to be funded to each student. For example, in 2010-2011 the maximum amount is $5550.

If ever a student is caught consuming drugs than the grants will be immediately withdrawn. You also have to assure the government that you will only use the money for studies and related issues by signing the relevant documents stating the same. You can only avail these grants if you are not in the defaulter’s list of the federal government and also if you have not applied for any other loan or financial aid. The government has a standard formula which they use to evaluate the information fed in the form. This particular formula was created by the Congress government and is used till date. It goes without saying that Pell Grant is a boon for many.

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