Free Money for College Expenses

Free Money for College Expenses
  • Opening Intro -

    "Free Money for College Expenses," is an attention grabber, but it is also a true statement: there are several ways for you to get hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars to pay for higher education.

    Unlike a loan, this money isn't paid back which means you can fund your education by using other people's money.

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Escalating college costs are hurting middle class families, some of whom make too much money to qualify for aid, which means students are forced to consider sometimes costly Stafford and private student loans to fund their education.

“Free Money for College Expenses,” is an attention grabber, but it is also a true statement: there are several ways for you to get hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars to pay for higher education. Unlike a loan, this money isn’t paid back which means you can fund your education by using other people’s money.

Grant money is available through at least four sources, each of which we’ll examine here:

Institutional grants — Your college may be willing to help you cover your higher education cost. If you’re exceptional student or your bring a certain diversity to campus, then the college may be willing to slash its sticker price to lure you in. Typically, you won’t be offered such assistance until you have been accepted, therefore you’ll want to find out from the school itself if you would qualify for this type of grant.[1]

State grants — State budgets have been severely strained in recent years which means that the amount of grant money available to students has diminished considerably. Still, there are opportunities out there although some come with strings attached. For example, if you’re pursuing your teaching degree, you may be able to get a significant discount if you agree to teach in a poorer school district once you graduate. You’ll be required to put in a few years of paid work, to get the discounted rate.

Pell grants — The most well recognized grant program are federal Pell grants. Based strictly on need, these grants pay out from several hundred dollars to a maximum of $5,550 through June 30, 2011.[2] Amounts vary based on your personal needs, your educational costs, whether you attend school full- or part-time and whether you plan on attending school for the full academic year or shorter. Apply through your college’s financial aid office.

FSEOG — Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants are for the neediest of students and work much in the same way as Pell grants. Grant money ranges from $100 to $4,000, funds which are dispensed through your college’s financial aid office.

Other opportunities for free money can come from family members and friends. If someone you know has an interest in you, they can contribute up to $13,000 in one year without incurring a tax.[3] That’s something to consider if you have a grandparent who wants to defray the cost of you going to school.

References

[1] Online Education Database: Hacking Financial Aid: 33 Ways to Get Money for College

[2] U.S. Department of Education: Federal Pell Grant Program

[3] Smart Money: When to File Gift Tax Forms

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Categories: Featured Classics, Finance