How To Find College Grants
Although college graduates typically make much higher starting salaries, the cost of education can be overwhelming. College grants are a great option for students who would otherwise need thousands of dollars worth of loans to make their educational goals possible. Grants are available from a number of sources, and though it is a lot of work to apply, they provide you with free money that you never have to repay.
Grants are awarded based on need, as opposed to scholarships, which are based on merit. That means you could qualify for a grant, even if you don’t have amazing high school grades, SAT scores, talents, or skills. With a grant, you get the money you need simply because you need it.
Here are some places to find grants:
- Government Sources: The government is one of the largest sources of grants for students. You can start your search at Students.gov.
- Businesses: It is beneficial for businesses to donate money, and some do so through opportunities for students. Both local and national businesses could offer grants to students.
- Organizations: It is more common for charities, clubs, and other organizations to offer scholarships, but some also have need-based funds available for students.
- Your College: Grants typically come from outside sources, but colleges also sometimes have grants available for students with need. Check with your school’s financial aid department to learn about your options.
Along with the student aid government site, you can find college grants by searching other websites. The University of Delaware has compiled a great list of grant search engines and other places to look online for student grants. If you’re still in high school, you should also stop in and talk to you guidance counselor. He or she should be able to provide you with tons of grant resources, both from national companies and organizations and from places in your local community. All you have to do is ask.
Some grants are given without bias to whomever needs the money, but other grants are given to minorities, women, first-generation college students, military students, and non-traditional students. In addition, there are grants available for those pursuing an advanced degree in grad school. In other words, you don’t have to be an undergrad to find a college grant. Even doctorate candidates can find grants available, especially for specific research projects.
Remember, finding college grant opportunities is just the first step. Applying for grants takes a long time, since most require you to be very specific about your plans for college, how the money will be used, and why you need the money the most out of all of the applicants. Make sure you follow the application directions completely and be thorough when you apply so that you have a good chance at being awards some free money for school.