The cost of education is ever rising and it has become difficult for students from low income families to get college degrees. For some students getting a students loan is also not a viable option for financing their education as it too has to be repaid. One of the best options for financing college education is through a federal education grant or private scholarship program. You need not repay the financial award you get via a grant or scholarship.
There are several education grants program run by federal and state government to aid students with their education. Corporate businesses and nonprofit organizations also run programs for supporting students with their educational needs. Information and applications for federal education grants are available for free so do not pay a third-party for this information. Proper research is the key to success when it comes to applying for a grant for college.
Applying for a College Grant
As there are several college grant programs the application process varies a little from one grant to another. However, there are some basic procedures that apply for most of these grants program and you will be better off if you adhere to these processes. One of the first things is doing proper research and finding a grant which has an eligibility criteria which qualifies you the best.
There are mainly two types of grants, need based grants and merit based grants so choose one that suits you the best. Need based grants are for students from low income families and merit based grants are for students who have excellent academic records. Then there are subject specific grants which allow you to pursue college education if you choose to major in a specific subject.
When applying for federal education grants you will require a federal student aid pin. So, visit the federal student aid website and register to get the pin, which will be your electronic signature on your applications for a grant. Fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form if you are applying for federal grants. The form is available online on the FAFSA government website.
Documentation is another key aspect of applying for a college grant, so make sure you have your academic records ready when you apply. For need-based grants you will also have to keep documents like your parents tax returns ready if you are a dependent. You will also require your driver's license, social security number, and bank statements when applying for college grants.
One of the tips is to start searching online, as majority of the grant's programs have websites and online application processes. Most programs require recommendation letters from your teachers or principals, so make sure you fulfill this criterion.
Many scholarship programs prefer students with community service experience, so get involved in programs that allow you to do this. Try and maintain your GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, this will make you eligible for many grants programs, especially the federal Pell grants and SMART grant.
Fill the application form correctly because many applications that are rejected are because of mistakes on the form. Proofread your application before submitting and give as much information as you can to help the evaluators make their decision. Be prepared to write essays as most college grant programs require the applicant to write essays.
A lot of students apply for these education grants so make sure you apply for more than one grant to increase your chances of getting funding for your college education. The Internet is the best place to search for different college grant programs, contact your local church as they also run scholarship programs.