Types of College Grants & How to Apply

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Going to college can be expensive, and the costs keep rising, whether it is for an online program or a traditional program at colleges and universities. Luckily, grants exist, and yes even for online classes. What exactly is a grant for online students? This is basically an amount that the student gets awarded based on the merit or financial need, and it doesn’t have to be paid back. Not only that, there are different types of grants. Read more below to get more information.

Need-Based Grants

The need-based grants are usually offered by the federal government, and can provide either a full tuition or a partial tuition based on your financial need. The determining factor for qualification for this grant is going to be the gap between the expected family contribution and the total cost of attendance. If this is according to the guidelines, then you’ll be a contender. But, the first step to applying for the need-based grant is to fill out the FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Merit-Based Grants

Usually, people think that a merit-based grant is only meant for students with straight As and plenty of extracurricular activities. However, this is not the case. If you volunteer, take on projects with interest in a certain field or perhaps show that you can juggle a part-time job while being the captain of a sports team, then you may be able to qualify as well. This shows that you have the motivation and passion, and it also shows that you can handle a demanding workload. So, both achievement and income count during the selection process.

Academic Departmental Grants

The academic departmental grant is meant for those who already have an idea of which major they want to follow. So, how does this exactly work? First, if you’ve already chosen a major, you look into the options within the department to narrow it down more. For this, you can always ask your professor or secretary of the school for help as they can check whether there are any grants available.

Corporate Grants

The corporate grant may be an option whether you’re working or not. This grant is usually given by the larger companies, such as Coca-Cola or Burger King. However, they are most often available to employees, their spouses or partners, and even their children. To get to know whether the companies where your parents work, for example, you could check whether they have grants for online students. Or, you could even ask your counselor as they are on top of their knowledge surrounding the application process.

Professional Association Grants

This grant is provided by those who organize professional development workshops, networking events, and even mentorship programs. They often have a budget that can be spent on grants or scholarships. For more information, you could look directly at the website of the professional associations involved.

How to Apply

There are a few steps you can follow in order to get a grant for college. The fist step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).Fill out the FAFSA to see whether you qualify and to apply for financial aid. This enables colleges to assess how much financial aid you are eligible for. Financial aid is a type of aid that assists students and their families in paying for college by covering educational costs. Grants, work-study, and federal student loans may all be included in a school’s financial aid package.

Then, before the deadline, fill out the FAFSA. Many awards are given out on the basis of first-come, first-served. So get your FAFSA in as soon as possible after the October 1st start date. Because the FAFSA requires your family’s tax returns, you should allow aside time to obtain such documents before beginning the application.

After you submit your FAFSA, the institutions that accepted you will contact you with financial assistance offers. You’ll find out if you qualify for any college grants, as well as other types of financial aid including scholarships, work-study, and federal student loans, in your offers. You are not obligated to accept all financial aid that is provided to you.

Education at colleges or universities in general can be quite expensive, thus having the opportunity to apply for a grant can be extremely useful. Even for online courses, as these can be expensive as well. Hopefully this article can give you some basic insight on the grants that are available for online colleges.