Will the government fund your college education?

When you are looking for funding to return to college, you should not overlook the government as a source of funding. Attending college is becoming more expensive each year, and many potential students are relying on grants in order to allow them to gain access into a field that has the potential to provide them with long-term employment. This is becoming more important in the 21st century as many corporations are reducing the size of their staffs and smaller companies are going out of business.

Pell Grant: The Most Well-Known

The Pell Grant is probably the most common of the federal grants. While the majority of grant money goes to those with a family income of less than $30,000, you can earn twice that amount and may still be eligible. You also must meet specific qualifications beyond income including the following:

  • Must be a citizen of the U.S. or an approved non-resident
  • Must be enrolled in or plan to enroll in an undergraduate program (graduate students do not qualify for the Pell grant)
  • Student must register with the Selective Service (males) or have documentation showing they are not required to do so.
  • The program you choose must lead to a certificate, diploma or degree
  • Student must maintain a GPA based on the terms of the grant program
  • Must sign documentation indicating the student is not in default on any federal loan and the funds will only be used for education
  • Recipients cannot be convicted for the possession or sale of any illegal drugs during the time they are receiving federal financial aid.

While it is unlikely the funds from a Pell grant will pay all the costs of your education, you can apply for other grants to subsidize what you receive from the Pell grant. There are several factors that are used to determine how much each recipient will receive including:

  • The cost of the individual institution
  • Your family income
  • The size of your family
  • Student status (full-time or part-time)

Military Grants

Another type of government grant is issued by the military and is available to the families of active servicemen and women, their spouses and children. There are several different types of grants available depending on the individual circumstances of the veteran. While these grants do not cover your entire education, they can certainly defray the costs when combined with other grants.

State and Municipal Grants

Many states and municipalities offer grants in order to encourage students to attend a local college. Sometimes the reasons go beyond simply wanting the business for the local college and may extend to students who are studying a particular topic that may be beneficial that that particular state or perhaps a nursing student who will work at the local hospital after graduation.

Government grants come in many shapes and sizes so to speak, so you need to take the time to conduct some research before you make a decision. Regardless of which agency provides grant money there will likely be some qualifications you must meet in order to receive and continue receiving the funds.
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