Did you know that 2/3 of full-time college students receive some kind of financial aid to help with school? A grant is one type of financial aid that is offered to students. A grant is money that is given to students who have a financial need. Just like a scholarship, the money doesn’t need to be paid back, but the differences between grants and scholarships are in the application. There are certain eligibility requirements that need to be met by you to get some grants.
In the case of Federal Pell Grants, the government uses a formula based on the information that you provide them. This formula then gives them a number called your Expected Family Contribution a.k.a. EFC (this is the amount the government thinks your family should give towards your education), which then determines your eligibility. This grant requires that you are a current US citizen or eligible non-citizen, and have a high school diploma but not a bachelor’s degree. The maximum amount that can be earned depends on the grant. With the Pell Grant, the maximum that could be earned is $5,550, and that depends on your EFC and several factors like the cost of going to school.
The way to apply for Pell Grant, federal, state and school financial aid programs is by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you can’t do that, you can request a paper FAFSA from the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 800-4-FED-AID (433-3243). Like scholarships, the earlier you fill out your applications the better, because most of the other financial aid is offered on a first come, first served basis.
Why not spend some time today going to the FAFSA website and learning more about grants and financial aid?