Grants and scholarships-what are they and how can they help?
If you think you can’t afford school, think again.
Grants and scholarships are kinds of financial aid that you don’t have to pay back.Yep, that’s FREE MONEY. That’s why they’re sometimes referred to as “gift aid.” Pretty cool, huh? All kinds of students get gift aid. Most grants are awarded based on financial need. But a good portion of gift aid is awarded for academic achievement or for having a record of good financial habits. Grants and scholarships rarely cover the entire cost of college. However, many schools’ financial services team will work with you to find a payment that will work with your current income level.
Grants and Scholarships DefinedThe terms “scholarship” and “grant” are often used interchangeably, but there are usually differences between these two forms of aid. Most scholarships are merit-based. This means that they are awarded to students with certain qualities, such as proven academic or athletic ability. Many scholarships have rules — maintaining a certain GPA, for example — that you have to follow to continue receiving aid. Most grants are need-based. This means that they are usually awarded based on your or your family’s financial situation.
Sources of Grants and ScholarshipsBoth grants and scholarships come from the government, colleges, or private organizations like labor unions or religious centers. For the scope of this article, we’ll focus on the first two.
GovernmentsFederal and state governments are sources of gift aid.
- The federal government is the largest source of need-based gift aid, primarily in the form of the Pell Grant.
- State governments often fund grants and scholarships for residents attending college in their state.
CollegesMany colleges offer grants and scholarships to their students.
- These may be merit-based or need-based, or a combination of the two.
- Colleges may have stricter requirements for keeping a scholarship than do other sources of scholarships.
Three Steps to Tap into Grants and ScholarshipsTo apply for grants and scholarships, you’ll most likely have to fill out financial aid forms such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE®. Outside scholarships usually have their own application forms and application processes.
An Offer Your Future Can’t RefuseEvery now and again, SCI is offers exclusive new grants that are offered for a limited time. Currently, we have one that helps lower your payments to as little as $35 a month.* This deal won’t last long, so get in touch with us today to see how we can prepare you for a career and lifestyle that you deserve. Apply now. — *Grants are available for those who qualify. For more information and a list of our 2017 grants and scholarships, see our 2017 course catalog here. Thanks to The College Board’s Big Future, the Basics of Scholarships & Grants for many of the resources outlined above.
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