Grants are financial help that does not have to be paid back to whosoever that awarded it. It is free money, to help students pay for their college education. Grant is very different from student loans which you have to pay back. Grants may need-based or merit-based, and this means that they may be given out based on some kind of ability, and intelligence possessed by him or her.
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Grants For College
Like I said earlier, it is an award and it is normally given out by a company or government to an individual to facilitate a goal or incentivize performance. Grants are like and are not likely to be paid back to the company or government under most conditions. Read on as we will be looking at other aspects of grants on this article of mine.
Types of Grants for College
The two types of grants for college are said to be need-based or merit-based.
If you look at grants for colleges today, most of them are need-based. This need-based grant is awarded or given out based on a student’s family background or economic situation of the student. In order for you to discover your financial needs, most schools require the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This EFC number can be used in the calculation of your financial needs you are qualified to receive.
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These merit-based grants are awarded to students who reached high levels of academic achievements. And these achievements can be a commitment to community service or excellent leadership skills. For you to get access to these awards, you to start doing online researches for college grants that are available for your state.
How to Get Grants for College
To get grants for colleges, you are advised to follow the steps below.
Fill out the FAFSA
College grants can be provided by federal and state governments. In order for you to know if the grants is available for you and how to apply, you will need to fill out the FAFSA. Filling it enables the college to easily determine if you the amount aid you need. Students and families can be help with financial aids in paying for college educational expenses.
Submit the FAFSA before the Deadline
Grants are best given to the number of people who first submitted the FAFSA before the deadline. So you are advised to make sure you complete and submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after the starting date. The starting date is usually October 1. The task that your family has made is needed before you can be awarded. So you provide the time to find those documents before you start applying for grants.
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Read your Financial Aid Offer
After the completion of the FAFSA, you will be awarded finical aid offers from the colleges that chose you. The colleges will also tell you if you are eligible for college grants among other types of financial aids like scholarship, work-study, and federal student loans. You are not expected to accept all the financial aids that these colleges offered you.
Covering College Costs with Grants
Generally, your school or college will pay you your grant money in at least two payments called disbursement. The college’s awards you grant money and this money is meant for your tuition fee and payment for room and the board s well. Any extra money can be used for your other expenses.
Grants are mostly not guaranteed for all years of college. For instance, if you are not qualified for a need-based grant it means your family’s financial situation changes. Merit-based grants are not guaranteed every year. So, you might be advised to maintain a certain GPA or meet other options to be eligible for the grant.
If any colleges give you a grant, you are to make sure you know all the requirements and how you can qualify upfront. You must keep at the back of your mind to fill the FAFSA every year.