Comparison Between Scholarships, Loans and Grants

Getting education beyond high school whether on campus or online in any field is expensive. Most of the students leaving high school are interested in getting higher education but financial constraints limit the number of students that actually get further education.  Most of the students that join a college degree get aid from scholarships, loans and grants.

There is ample financial aid available for students joining college in form of grants, scholarship and loans. This financial aid can be searched over the internet with ease. The scholarship search sites have made it even easier to search for financial aid. In this article I will discuss scholarships, loans and grants.

Scholarships and fellowships are normally awarded to students with academic excellence, sporting excellence or students with particular talents. These programs are not normally based on financial need. Some scholarships are also aimed at encouraging students to join a particular less developed or shortage field. There are thousands of scholarships and fellowships programs offered by government and private organizations, and colleges and universities. Some institutions also offer discounts in fees advertised as scholarships to students.

Grants are normally based on financial need. Although, academic excellence and extracurricular skills are also considered for the award of grants. Grants are also offered by both government and private organizations, but the largest provider of grants is the government. Government is running several grant programs for general students and students in particular categories, such as minority students, single mothers etc. The most popular of the government funded aid programs are the Federal Pell Grant, the SEOG, and the state of Georgia’s Hope Grant. Information on all government funded programs can be obtained from the website of federal aid office of the U.S department of education. The site also provides online application facility for all programs. Private programs run by welfare organizations can be searched over scholarship search sites.

Loans are the most availed form of financial aid for students. Statistics show that nearly 50% of all students take these low interest loans to fund these studies. These loans are provided by many private welfare organizations and government organizations. The most popular of the government funded aid programs are the Stafford, PLUS and Perkins. These loans are also provided based on financial need. Information on all government funded aid programs can be obtained from the FAFSA website. Some colleges also offer such loans to students based on financial need and other criteria.