The costs of attending college today continue to skyrocket. Many students are finding it nearly impossible to finance their own education. With costs exceeding $15,000 a year, getting a part-time job often isn’t the answer. Balancing an education with the demands of a full-time job is becoming increasing impossible.
Individuals who want to pursue higher education and need monetary help to attend college have a couple of options. Self-help federal aid allows you to get loans and work-study programs. The second option, gifts don’t require repayment.
In addition to the US Federal government, other organizations offer aid as well. This aid comes in the form of a college education grant. The great thing about a college education grant, like the majority of grants and unlike student loans, is that you don’t have to repay the money.
College education grants are based on need and are highly competitive. These grants won’t necessarily cover all costs of an education, but provide the bridge that can make educational pursuits possible. These grants are donated by federal or state governments, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, research institutions, funding institutions, corporations, and private individuals.
The key is to start your research early when looking for college education grant opportunities. Starting during your junior year of high school is not too early. Anyone who wishes to pursuit a post-secondary education should complete a Free Application for Student Aid form and forward it to the department of education as early as possible. This should be submitted to the state assistance agency in the state where you hope to attend college or university. You may find eligibility for more than one grant or scholarship. Many grants are donated on a first-come first-served basis, so it’s best to get applications in early.
The Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Educational Supplemental Opportunity grant are two of the most popular and well-known need-based grants.
The Federal Pell Grant provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions.
The Federal Educational Supplemental Opportunity Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students for post-secondary education. Students can receive these grants at any one of approximately 4,000 participating postsecondary institutions. Institutional financial aid administrators at participating institutions have substantial flexibility in determining the amount of FSEOG awards to provide students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment.
Start with your local library or high school counselor’s office for information about all the financial aid available to you. On the web, an internet search with the words college and grants should prove very useful. Some of the more popular sites such as finaid.org, collegeanswer.com, and the Michigan State Library website are excellent sources for college education grant information.