College Grants: An Overview

The United States has a staggering amount of money budgeted to be used for grants to help students attend college. Once these grants have been approved for someone, they don’t have to be repaid as they’re not loans. Another great thing about college grants is that the applicant isn’t required to pay any advance application fees.

College grants can be awarded even to people with bad credit or bankruptcy. It’s even possible for one applicant to receive more than one grant simultaneously. Since so many people are unemployed currently, and more are becoming so each day, the government is doing everything possible to help these people get trained or retrained to improve their chances of finding jobs. Another goal of college grants is to help students remain in college longer so that they graduate with better qualifications to become employed.

One of the most well-known college grants is called the Pell Grant. Its name comes from United States Senator Claiborne Pell who was responsible for introducing these grants in 1965. Pell grants don’t have to be paid back and are awarded according to financial needs. A form known as “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” is used to decide qualification. These grants target students from low income families. In order to be eligible for a Pell grant, the applicant must prove financial need.

The proper research must be done prior to preparing the application because of the numerous options available. The main categories of college financial aid are Pell grants, tax credits, refunds for low income students, scholarships, tuition reimbursement and Federal student loans. The applicant needs to get information from his or her college of choice regarding available financial aid options.

Many organizations have put programs into place to help low income students so that they can continue their studies. This objective is to help students get access to their Earned Income Tax credit. Search for non-profit organizations that have contacts with the selected college for help with this one.

In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants more students and their parents the chance to qualify for a type of Federal grant for college. It can be used to pay for college related expenses up to $2,500 per student. These credits can be claimed when proof of income is submitted.

Scholarships have been around for ages and are usually awarded for different merits. However, many scholarships are given to people of various minorities and disabilities. Certain ethnic backgrounds also are eligible for scholarships. Competition for being awarded scholarships is quite high.

If all else fails and students don’t qualify for a grant or scholarship, there are always student loans. Either the student or the parents of the student will need to apply at a financial institution for the amount of money needed for college expenses. These are loans and must be repaid at the agreed upon time.

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