Free Money for College

Whether you aspire to be a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, a librarian – or any other type of professional – a college degree is an absolute must. A post-secondary education is a key that opens up so many opportunities; but unfortunately, the cost of acquiring a degree can be astronomical.

If you’re under the assumption that a college education is out of our reach because you can’t afford it, think again! You may be eligible for free money that you can use for your degree, thanks to grants.

What are College Grants?

College grants are similar to scholarships in that they provide money that can be used to pay for the cost of a post-secondary education, and that money doesn’t have to be repaid (like student loans do). However, unlike scholarships, which are awarded based needs or merit (meaning that grantees must have certain abilities or pastimes, or they must be of a certain ethnic background or religion), college grants are need-based.

The federal government reserves hundreds of thousands of dollars that eligible students can use to help cover the cost of their college education. Each year, countless students receive free funding for their post-secondary education, thanks to grants. While they may not pay for the entire cost of college, they can certainly cover a portion of your tuition, your room and board, supplies, and other school-related expenses, making it possible for you to realize your dream of earning a degree. There could be free money out there waiting for you to use for your education; you just need to know where to look and how to apply!

Complete a FASFA

Filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) is the first step that any prospective student who is interested in college grants should take.

A FAFSA determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which the government uses to determine how much money you and your family can contribute toward your college education. If it is determined that you are eligible for federal aid, there are a number of different federally funded college grants that you may be able to receive.

Types of Federal College Grants

A Federal Pell Grant

This grant is awarded to students who are working toward a four-year degree or a teacher certification after they have earned a bachelor’s degree and require financial assistance.

Academic Competitiveness Grant

This grant is for both college freshmen and sophomores, and it is awarded based on merit and need.

National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant

If you qualified for the Academic Competitiveness Grant, you’ll only receive funding via this grant for your freshman and sophomore years. The SMART Grant may, however, provide funding for your third and fourth years of college.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

If one of your parents served in the military and lost his or her life while on active duty after September 11, 2001 and it was determined that you are not eligible for the Pell Grant, you may be eligible for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.

To find out more about federal grant for college – and other grant options that may be available to you – check in with the financial aid office at your college or university.