You graduate from high school and enroll in college – only to discover that it was easier living with your parents. Living expenses soon take a toll on your wallet and your life. Many college students have heard about grants, but do not take the time to research them.
With effort on your behalf, grants can be an excellent source of educational funding. There are four categories of college grants that are available:
· Student-specific usually pertains to non-traditional, low-income, and disadvantaged students who are anywhere from the high school to doctoral educational levels.
· Subject-specific college grants are grouped according to subject, such as health, education, or engineering. Some subject specific-grants are meant to stimulate additional enrollment in fields that are under-represented.
· Degree level college grants are for students who are at a certain level in their program towards their degree.
· Minority college grants are for those who are considered to belong in a minority, such as the disabled, African Americans, Native Americans, and women. As a rough rule of thumb, many people believe that “a minority is anyone that is not a white man.”
Non-traditional grant options
Non-traditional grants are for students who are out of the typical college age range. For example, if you graduated from high school, but did not enroll in college until several years later, then you may qualify for various non-traditional grant options. Or, if you are starting your higher education at a community college, or through an online campus, then there are specific student grants that can assist your non-traditional educational endeavors.
Grants that help the disadvantaged attend college
Low income and disadvantaged college grants are for individuals whose incomes prevent them from attending college. In this scenario, the Pell Grant provides students the financial means to pay for books, dorm rent, utilities, and food. Indeed, the Pell Grant covers all of the college expenses for which an adult would traditionally be responsible.
The National Federation of the Blind, as well as the National Association of the Deaf, are just two of the many grants available to the disadvantaged college students.
The options of graduate-level grants
Graduate and doctoral students can obtain grants from community colleges, universities, or private organizations. All three seem to compete with one another on who is providing the best grant, which means graduate and doctoral candidates have many options when it comes to obtaining a college grant. These graduate-level grants can be used for research, traveling, or living expenses.
Grants for high school and undergraduate students
High school and undergraduate college grants attract the low income and disadvantage candidates, as well as those who are specializing in a certain field, ranging from engineering to the arts. These college grants can be used for living expenses, books, and dorm rent.
Educational grants for military families
Military families all benefit from the college grants provided by the Navy, Army, or the Air Force. If you or your spouse enrolls in the Army, then your spouse can apply for the Army’s Spouse Education Assistance Program – or if the Navy is your affiliation, then you can apply for the Navy’s Spouse Tuition Aid Program. Both college grants provide you the means to pay the tuition in full.
Finding subject-specific and degree-level grants for your major
Subject-specific college grants pertain to individualized majors, such as Education, IT, Engineering, Veterinarian, Ministry, and Administrative Justice. Traditionally, subject-specific grants are plentiful at community colleges and universities. If you have conducted research in your major, or you have a particular focus you are studying, then your chances of obtaining these subject-specific college grants increase.
Degree level college grants are similar to the subject-specific college grants, as they also have specific, individualized requirements. For example, there are junior degree level grants only geared for those students entering into or already enrolled in junior year. The key to these grants is to conduct research early and find ones for which your academic standing qualify.
Grants geared for minority, underrepresented students
Minority college grants are for those who are considered to belong to a minority group, such as African Americans, Native Americans, and women. There are a wide supply of minority grants, whose goal is to increase the representation of minorities in higher education, as well as specific fields. For example, there are the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grant, the American Anthropological Association grant, the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program, and the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Minority Fellowships. The list of available minority grants is very extensive.
Finding the best grant for your education
In order to find the best grant for you, you must conduct appropriate research. With the many specific requirements and deadlines grants have, the earlier you begin your research, the more likely you can obtain the best grant for your circumstances.
Consider your specific academic situation, and find the grants that may apply to you. Research for grants in your degree, your school year, and any disadvantaged / minority group for which you qualify. Not only are there a plethora of online research databases, but your university and department’s academic counseling office can provide you with grant information.
Although researching and applying for grants takes time, the financial rewards are certainly worth the effort.
Dolly Kaur is an MBA in Finance and has a rich experience of writing on topics related to finance. If you have any queries about Free Government Grants visit [http://www.government-grants-usa.org]
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