There is no question that the costs of higher education continues to rise, and that the majority of students will have to think about the numerous types of financial assistance available to them. Today, it’s quite common for a student’s college fund to include a number of financial outlets like student loans, grants, scholarships, family contributions, and personal savings.

One thing is for sure, when a student is preparing a college fund, no financial stone should be left unturned! Education grants are one of the most sought after and most valuable sources of financial aid for college students. Awarded the right grants, students are a step closer to making their higher education dreams come true.

Education Grants Are Different From Student Loans and Scholarships

Education grants are mainly awards given without any requirement for repayment from the recipient. Compared to scholarships, which are usually given based on artistic or extracurricular performance, or academic and athletic talent, grants are awarded depending upon the financial need of the student. However, this does not mean that academic worth has no place as far as grants are concerned. It merely means that financial need is given precedence in the final decision process.

Students beginning their search for grants will probably find a diverse amount of grant-for-service grants. This type of grant is linked to a defined course of study and applied to students with clear career goals. Generally, they tackle significant deficiencies in specific professions counting social work, teaching, legal aid, and healthcare.

Grant-for-service grants ask that recipients agree to a fixed term of service, and employment within their chosen profession in a deprived community or critical need facility. If for some reason a student falls short of meeting their obligations, the grant will be converted into a standard student loan, which means that the student will be expected to repay all funds with interest.

Grants for students headed towards higher education are supported by a number of diverse sources that include:

  • Public and Private Organizations
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Federal and State Governments
  • Professional Organizations

Apart from the source of the grants, the idea remains unchanged: to make higher education affordable and accessible for students by offering the needed additional funds to assist them with their overall college costs.

Grant Types

Certain college grant curriculums are available to all students no matter their background or course of study. These are known as “general grants,” and are normally determined by academic performance and financial need. A larger amount of college grants are specifically aimed at segments of the population or students after a certain degree or career path.

Common Student Specific Grants

The student population in the United States continues to expand and transform as the number of students headed to college continues to grow. The U.S. collegiate population is devised of a varied amount of students from all walks of life. Grants for students interested in higher education are frequently structured to benefit certain types of students and to take notice of their specific monetary needs. The most popular student-specific grant programs are:

  • Low-income and culturally underprivileged
  • Non-traditional
  • Military and their dependents

Non-Government Grants

After a student has drained the available state and Federal backed grants, they might want to check other sources for financial aid. Many grants for higher education can be discovered in the private sector as well. Businesses and professional organizations frequently provide grants for qualified students who are interested in degrees in industries closely tied to that company or organization.

College grants are also available through religious institutions in addition to organizations committed to community service and clubs. However, these grant programs may include an extremely specific qualification processes. Still, they provide much needed financial assistance to students who satisfy the required conditions.

Colleges and universities are also wonderful resources for grants. In most cases, colleges are awarded private-endowments from businesses and individuals with the purpose of providing monetary aid to deserving students. Keep in mind that privately endowed scholarships and grants usually have precise eligibility conditions and may be geared more towards minorities and women. Moreover, they may be devoted to students studying in certain fields or disciplines

In order to get started in their search for non-government backed college grants, students should start by merging their standing as a student (undergraduate or graduate), their course of study, and their personal background (gender, status, and minority). There are plenty of grant programs to be found online, or via the financial aid office within a college or university. This will take some time; however, the rewards are worth the effort!

Grants for Non-Traditional Students

The traditional view of a college-bound student is starting to revolutionize. Though most college students are fresh out of high school, the number of “adult learners” is increasing. Adult studies are more than likely returning to the classroom to finish degrees that were in progress but interrupted by work and family duties, and others may be entering college for training courses to assist them with achieving a better status in their workplace and in the general workplace. Examples of non-traditional students include adults pursuing new career opportunities, returning military veterans, misplaced employees, adults looking for a new career, and returning military veterans.

Grants designated for non-traditional students are backed by a number of diverse sources, counting local and state governments, professional organizations, advocacy groups, and corporations. These programs offer crucial financial help to non-traditional students who are looking for a way to make a “step-up” in life for themselves and their families via higher education.

Subject-Specific Grants

Countless grant programs are directed toward the needs of students with identifiable degree and career goals. On average, these programs are developed to hearten and support students who are after a professional career in fields that is high in demand such as education, healthcare, mathematics, and science. Subject-specific grants are backed by a number of sources, counting Federal and state governments, professional organizations, and corporations.

Minority Specific Grants

There are a number of grant programs designed to assist minority groups who have been disadvantaged in the American higher education system. Though many accomplishments have been made over the last several decades, there is still more work that needs to be done. Grants for minorities and women are backed by a number of sources counting charitable foundations, Federal governments, colleges, corporations, advocacy groups, professional associations, and universities.

In the scheme of things, if you are a student searching for a means of gaining financial aid for your higher education, grants are the perfect way to do it. Without the burden of repayment, you are free to pursue your educational dreams. It may take a lot of work, but the reward is worth it in the end.

Search and Apply for Scholarships on ScholarshipChart.com

ScholarshipChart.com helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through ScholarshipChart.com.