Non-repayable Student Aid: What are Grants and How to Get Them

MFor students, grants are an essential and, what is important, profitable thing. It is possible to get a student loan to cover the cost of studying, but it always needs to be paid back, and this is not so easy if you are studying and you do not have a grace period for this time. Grants, on the other hand, are an option for non-repayable financial assistance and can be a great help during your studies.

What are Grants?

A grant is a non-repayable aid given to a student, meaning you won't have to pay that money back. Grants may come from the federal government, your state government, your college or vocational school, or from a private or non-profit organization.

Most grants are based on the fact that you need help because of a difficult financial situation. However, there are those that are issued for success in learning.

Types of College Grants

The US Department of Education provides various federal grants. Some, as already mentioned, are based on your financial situation. And some can be obtained by achieving significant academic success in their field. Here are some examples:

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG);
Federal Pell Grants;
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants;
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants;

Each grant program may set its own eligibility requirements, so you must compare different programs to determine which one you qualify for.

How to Get a Grant?

Step 1: Look for grants that fit your needs. It doesn't matter if you need a grant due to dire financial circumstances or additional funding for research. Today, many organizations offer their grants, so the chance of finding the right one is quite large.

Step 2: Fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Federal grants are not easy to get, but they are still possible. This opportunity should not be missed, and it is worth at least trying.

Step 3: Get your offer of financial assistance. The proposal will indicate if you are eligible for any grant. If not, don't despair and keep looking. The government is not the only source of grants.

Private grants

Many private organizations offer student grants. They have different criteria and different requirements, so finding something for yourself is quite easy. Here are a few of them.

AAUW Career Development Grant
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) offers career development grants ranging from $2,000 to $12,000 to bachelor's degree students who are pursuing a master's program, a post-baccalaureate certificate, or a professional degree. Applicants eligible for these college grants must be US citizens and be enrolled in regionally accredited four-year colleges for either on-campus or distance learning.

Dell Scholarship Program
Recipients receive $20,000, a laptop, and textbook loans. The grant is for low-income students who have overcome adversity and are "better than their numbers show".

Carole Fielding Student Grant
The University Film and Video Association (UFVA) provides a $1,000 Carol Fielding Student Grant annually to undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled full-time at accredited US colleges to study film, television, video, or new media production.

Cooke College Scholarship Program
Scholarships of up to $40,000 per year are available to high-achieving high school students who are in need of funding, as selected by the education-focused Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Chafee Grant for Foster Youth
The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) offers the Chafee Grant for Foster Youth for $5,000 per year to cover the tuition costs of job training or college education for current or former foster youth under 22 years old.