Grants: Everything You Need to Know

This word refers to a form of monetary assistance given to students without any form of repayment obligation or plan. Grants can be given by the federal government, state government, the career school or college a student attends, or a non-profit or private organization. Students in need of financial assistance often prefer grants over loans as the former, unlike loans, generally don’t need to be repaid.

Among different types of grants, those offered by the government find the most takers. However, government grants aren’t simply bestowed. Rather, the students need to apply for them, provided they meet the application and eligibility requirements. Unlike what some may think, getting a government grant isn’t a cakewalk. Instead, it’s a highly competitive process, which often involves a lot of paperwork. Additionally, the applicants must explain how the grants they receive will benefit the local community or the public, in general. Writing a convincing proposal is an extremely challenging task. Firstly, the applicants need to be aware of how to put their ideas on paper while describing the way the grants will help achieve the desired goals. Secondly, they should follow the exact instructions about proposals put forward by the granting agencies to which they are applying.

Various grants are offered by the United States Department of Education to students attending four-year universities or colleges, career schools, and community colleges. Some notable ones among them are:

·         Federal Pell Grants, which are typically awarded only to undergraduate students

·         FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants), which is directly administered by the financial aid office for the participating schools

·         TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) Grants

A TEACH Grant is different from other federal government grants. It requires the applicant to agree to complete a teaching service obligation as a clause for receiving the financial aid. In case an applicant doesn’t complete the service obligation, their TEACH Grant will get changed to a loan, which they must repay with interest.

Students interested in getting federal grants should start by submitting a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. After they submit it, their career school or college will let them know the amount they may receive and when they may get it. Since the requirements for remaining eligible to receive a grant differ from one program to another, students need to ensure they meet such requirements. Else, they may have to repay all or part of their federal grant.

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