COLLEGE EDUCATION GOVERNMENT GRANTS
Government grants are designed to support the educational needs of low-income students. And, while the Pell Grant is considered the foundation of the federal financial aid system, there are many other government grants available to the student who needs extra money to supplement his income.
The Pell Grant is awarded to millions of students annually based on that student’s EFC (expected family contribution). What exactly is the EFC and how does one figure it out?
Thankfully you don’t have to figure it out yourself. The United States Department of Education will do that for you.
First you will need to fill out your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), a one hundred and thirty or so questionnaire that helps determine what kind of government grants you can receive to help pay for college. Much of the information will come directly from the IRS, but basically what happens with the FAFSA is it will determine how much they believe you and your family can afford to pay.
Financial need is perhaps the biggest factor in receiving government grants. High grades and test scores will certainly help your cause as well.
An often overlooked source for government grants is the state where the student lives. Most states have a rich variety of government grants. These money sources may be less well known than the traditional federal grants, but the money is green just the same.
Many states will have special government grants that help fill a need for that particular state. They will provide the grant money with the stipulation that the recipient practice his or her particular discipline in their state. Kansas, for example, awards an Optometry Grant in exchange for that student setting up his future practice in the state.
Both Alabama and Arizona provide government grants based on financial need. In Arizona, there is a racial component that gives extra consideration to those who are Hispanic.
Wyoming gives a government grant to a student doing research in space science. You must, however, matriculate at a university in Wyoming.
Relatively new to the government grant game is the Study-Abroad Grant. For those students whose knowledge of a language and culture would benefit national security while they are studying abroad this government grant might be a good fit.
If you do your homework on government grants it is possible to pay for the majority if not all of your education. The FAFSA expected family contribution will tell you how much you qualify for through government grants. Armed with that knowledge you can concurrently pursue any combination of scholarships, private grants, and loans to complete the funding of your higher education.
Remember that the government grant is just one source of money. Studies show that students who work fifteen hours a week while in college actually get better grades than those who don’t.
A government grant is always the best option because you don’t have to pay it back. But if you don’t qualify for a grant, a low-interest loan can help you complete your education.