Finding Education Grants to Pay for College

The cost of a college education has risen dramatically over the past few decades with the result that most university students are unable to pay for the full costs of their education on their own. In fact, even the majority of students whose parents have been saving up for their education still need assistance to help cover the costs. The average cost of tuition at a four-year public university is approximately $40,000 a year, and this doesn't even figure in the extra costs for books or room and board. Unfortunately, the price of a college education is only predicted to increase in the future.

Due to these rising costs, it is recommended that every college student searches for any potential sources that can help them cover the cost of their education. In this sense, educational grants are undoubtedly one of the best ways to help offset the cost of tuition to ensure that you receive the education you need without having to put yourself deep into debt to get it. There are a huge number of different educational grants available, and by putting a bit of effort into finding and applying for them, you might just be able to turn your dreams of college into a reality.
Educational Grants vs. Scholarships and Other Types of Financial Aid

The majority of college students end up turning to student loans to help finance their education. Unfortunately, these student loans must be paid back in full, which means that the vast majority of college graduates are in deep debt before they finally finish their degree. This is why education grants are always a far better alternative as these grants are more similar to standard scholarships in that the student isn't required to ever pay the grant money back.

In most cases, education grants are given out to students solely based on their need, and these grants allow a person that would otherwise be unable to afford their tuition to still attend college. As they are typically based on need, it is usually necessary to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in order to provide proof of a student's financial need. These grants are available from a wide variety of different organizations, groups, and foundations, some of which tend to target students with a certain profile. Nonetheless, there are also educational grants that are available to any student with a proven financial need.

The majority of colleges and universities offer at least some grants to needy students, and both state and federal government organizations also frequently give out education grants. In addition, you can also find grants offered by numerous companies, professional associations, and both private and public organizations.

US Federal Student Grants

Federal grants are generally the preferred method of financing your education should you qualify. Although there are a number of different types of federal student grants, all of them are offered through the US Department of Education, and these grants have already helped many millions of students attend college who would otherwise never be able to afford it.

Pell Grants

One of the most common types of federal education grants, Pell grants are typically given out to those students that show the greatest financial need. Since the program was instituted in 1972, these Pell grants have awarded millions of dollars to needy students to help them cover the cost of their tuition.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program is run by the federal government and also provides funds to students with the greatest financial needs. However, these grants are actually administered through university and college financial aid offices, which means that it is necessary to apply for them directly through your school. Each school typically only has a limited amount of FSEOG funds to award and these funds are generally given out on a first come, first serve basis.

State Educational Grants

The majority of US states offer their own educational grant programs similar to the federal grants. Although the rules vary from state to state, these grants are generally only given out to students who attend college within their home state and some states have specific residency requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible. Typically, these grant programs are funded through state taxes along with some federal money. Most state grant programs are based on need, although there are also some states that offer grants for certain minorities. In addition, some states have special grant programs available for anyone that wishes to study a field that is in high demand, such as medicine or nursing.

Finding Other Non-Governmental Grants

It is always best to exhaust the list of potential federal and state education grants first. However, if this still isn't enough to fully cover the costs of your education; it is well worth looking into other potential sources of grants. Many companies and professional organizations offer a range of education grants, and there are whole books and websites dedicated to helping students find these potential sources of funding. Oftentimes, companies and organizations will offer grants to those who wish to study in a related field—although some offer grants to students regardless of what they plan on studying.