How to Find Grant Money for College

How to Find Grant Money for College
  • Opening Intro -

    Grant money is something every college student should pursue as a way to help fund their education.

    Like a college scholarship, grants are not paid back -- essentially, they’re “free money” for recipients although there are certain strings attached such as using that money to offset college tuition, room and board, books and related expenses.

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Before we move forward to look at grant money for college, be forewarned: there are too many scams out there to count. That is why we won’t name specific grant programs except for one at the federal level. If in doubt about any program, then don’t apply. And, most certainly do not give out private information about yourself to just anyone, details which can be used as part of an identity theft scam.

Federal Pell Grant — We’ve mentioned this grant money opportunity before and the federal Pell Grant program is worth exploring especially if you are a low income student. Payouts amounts change each year, but the government gives several hundred to several thousand dollars to cover college costs. (see Pell Grants: Your Money Source?)

State Grants — Statehouse coffers have been drained dry in recent years, therefore your state may not have funds available at the moment. Your state’s higher education commission or student aid department can tell you if funds are currently available and how to apply. Some programs also offer tuition forgiveness, provided you work for the state or a local school district after you graduate.

Institutional Grants — Colleges and universities will often tap its own funds to help defray college costs for some students. This can happen if you’re the type of student they want on campus. Instead of applying for schools who have the kinds of students they want, find schools that are eager to have you as one of their students advises Liz Pulliam Weston writing for MSN Money.

Corporate Grants — Corporations, foundations and other organizations are actively involved in providing college scholarships. Under this arrangement, extensive information is supplied to determine eligibility. Some companies offers grants, particularly to children of its employees. Ask your parents if their companies provide a fringe benefit of tuition reimbursement for children. Technically, this isn’t a grant, but if it pays for a portion of your education, consider it free money just the same.

Following Up

Follow up with the grant provider if you have been awarded free money. You may need to supply your Social Security number, a college acceptance letter or other forms identification or proof of eligibility before the funds are awarded. Oh, yes, those funds are usually sent directly to the school.

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