Do you qualify for grants and income-based scholarships?

While most everyone is familiar with grants and their availability to students who fall within a specific income criteria, some students may not be aware that there are also scholarships that are designed specifically for students who need the financial help but fail to meet the stringent qualifications of academic scholarships.

Types of Grants                                           

Grants are provided from various sources that allow students who would otherwise be unable to attend college further their educations. The rising cost of education makes it difficult for many students to attend college, but these government-sponsored and privately funded grant programs help defray those costs. Some grants are available for specific types of students, and if you fall into more than one category, it is possible for you to finance a large part of your education. The sources for grants include federal and state governments, colleges and universities and public and private organizations. The Pell Grant is the most common federally sponsored grant and provides undergraduate and some graduate students up to $5,500 per academic year.

Scholarships Based on Financial Need

There are many different scholarships available from public and private sources that are based on financial need rather than academics, athletic ability or field of interest. Some of these scholarships are available through private funding by universities. For instance, Harvard College offers free tuition for students whose families earn less than $40,000 and reduced tuition for those who earn less than $60,000. This is only one of many sources of funding for students whose families do not have the funds necessary to pay for them to attend college. In addition to scholarships direct from universities and colleges you can obtain scholarships from a substantial number of public organizations and private benefactors.

Applying for Scholarships and Grants

It is unlikely that one source of funding would cover the entire cost of your college education. The free tuition through Harvard College, for example, does not cover the cost of books and living expenses, so you will still need to find other sources of funding. The best way to do that is to apply for every scholarship and grant for which you qualify—many are geared toward specific minority groups (such as single mothers, Asian students or Hispanic students) or a specific study area that is in need of additional graduates—the medical field is always in need of more doctors, nurses and various medical technicians.

Choosing Grants and Scholarships

There are probably thousands of grants and scholarships available for the taking. The best way to choose is to research everything that is available and apply to all of those for which you qualify. If you are a single mom of Hispanic origin, you have two possibilities right in front of you. The important thing is to not overlook any potential source of funding since grants and scholarships have specific dollar amounts attached to them that may not cover the entire cost of your college education.

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