If you need cash for college, the first place you should look is with the federal government. Keep reading to see why.
If you need help right away, some programs may direct deposit a short-term loan into your bank account.
When you decide to start studying to get a degree, you probably focus on two things. First, you want to make sure you keep your grades up so you can graduate on time. And second, you have to figure out how to pay for it all.
Depending on your financial situation, that second item may be your biggest concern. Getting a degree can be quite expensive, which is why student loans exist. But instead of borrowing money you’ll have to pay back at a later date (plus interest), why not get some free funding instead?
You can do so via student grants from the federal government, some of which can give you over $6,000 per year to finance your studies. And as for being “free,” that’s because grants, unlike loans, do not have to be paid back.
How To Get Federal Student Grants
Before we jump into the federal student grant application process, remember that there are many other free money sources for college. Once you exhaust the federal option, begin looking for grants from your state and school. You should also search for assistance from nonprofits and private organizations, plus funding available according to your field of study, status as a minority, disability, etc.
In short, don’t let your grant search come up short. Doing so could lead to you leaving a lot of money on the table.
With that out of the way, here’s what you must do to get the federal grants we’re about to discuss: Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Doing so puts you in consideration for assistance from schools you are interested in. You will have to complete this form yearly to continue receiving financial aid.
Federal Student Grant Examples
To give you an idea of the type of funding out there, here’s a look at the top four college grants from the federal government:
Fill out your FAFSA form to show you have financial need, and you could receive up to $6,345 per year with a Pell Grant. This popular college grant is meant for undergraduate students, so you may be out of luck if you have a degree already.
A Pell Grant can give you cash for college for up to 12 semesters.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
Here’s a grant that shows you just how specific some awards can be. If a parent or guardian passed while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, you could receive $5,829.50 from this grant.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
If you need an extra nudge to fill out your FAFSA form now, here it is: Qualifying for the Pell Grant gives you priority with the FSEOG and its max funding of $4,000 per year. Combine that with the monies from the Pell Grant, and you could get a ton of help financing your education from just filling out a form.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)
If you’re looking to become a teacher, this federal grant can give you up to $3,764.