grants

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Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are the types of financial aid which do not come with the obligation to return anything back to the awarding body. Therefore, they are good option for anyone in search of funds to pay for their education.

Scholarships

Scholarships are offered by the federal government, organizations, and companies. Winners of these awards are required to maintain a certain level of performance. The criteria for both government and non-government scholarships vary from program to program; so does the amount awarded to students. Some scholarships cover the student’s tuition fees and other expenses, while others may not provide full coverage.

Types of Scholarships

Here are some of the scholarships that are available.

Merit-based Scholarships: There are three types of merit-based scholarships that students can win depending on eligibility. These include scholarships awarded on academic merit, athletic merit, and artistic merit.

Minority Scholarships: Minority scholarships are awarded to different minority groups, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and Filipino. Some of the awarding bodies include the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Helen and L.S. Wong Memorial Scholarship, and Human Capital Scholarship.

Mom and Dad Scholarships

Single moms can find scholarships that are specially designed for them. There a scholarships available for men as well (especially for dads).

Unusual Scholarships

There are a many unusual scholarships on offer as well. These include left-handed scholarship (offered by the Juniata College to its students); last name scholarship (such as last name ‘Zolp’ scholarship), height scholarship (for both tall and short students), etc.

Grants

The government offers the Pell Grant, which, unlike student loans, doesn’t have to be repaid; and, unlike scholarships, doesn’t require you to maintain a certain level of performance. Pell Grants are usually available to undergraduate students who don’t have a bachelor’s or a professional degree (which is generally obtained after a bachelor’s degree in a specifc field, such as law or medicine). In some cases, a Pell Grant may be available to people interested in attending a post-baccalaureate teacher certificate program.

Pell Grants normally serve as foundation of financial assistance, and often determine your eligibility for other grant programs run by the federal authorities such as the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

Eligibility

If your family has a total income of up to $50,000, you may be eligible for the need-based funding, though most of the Pell Grant money is awarded to students who have a total family income of less than $20,000.

Scholarships and grants provide students the opportunity to study further without the condition of returning back the awarded money.

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.