School grants are a hot-topic. With many people going back to college to improve their careers and countless others looking for ways to finance their education, getting a school grant is now a top priority.
Few people know the depth of the marketplace for school grants. While they exist in their most topical forms from the Department of Education, there are also several hundred thousand school grants and scholarships available to students each year. Some are worth $100, while some are worth $10,000, $20,000, and more. There is absolutely no reason not to start looking for school grants if you’re ready to take the plunge for a better education.
Here are some of the most popular and widely-available grant opportunities:
Pell Grants – College grants start with the Pell Grant, which is the easiest of all to receive. There is no application process other than the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and all people who beat income thresholds do qualify. In general, any college student who has not been convicted of a felony can receive this grant intended for low-income college students. The name of the game here is how much money you have and how much money you make. A Pell Grant ranges from $0 to $5500, depending on your current assets, income, and ability to pay.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant – Aside from Pell Grants, there are other financial-based grants given to college students from the federal government. The FSEOG is one such grant. Given by the school you choose to attend, a FSEO grant is one in which the federal government offers up 75% of the cost of attendance, while the school you attend offers another 25% of the total. To qualify, you must earn less than the selected years’ income threshold, which is a multiple of the federal poverty line. Additionally, you must be a US citizen, have not already completed a Bachelor’s degree, and you can’t have other federal grants outstanding.
Elementary Education Grants – For parents looking to give their children a quality education from a private school, elementary education grants help bridge the gap between high tuition prices and affordability. In some states, a “voucher” program exists where the parent can pay a small tuition fee in exchange for a “voucher” that can be redeemed for a full years’ education at any school. At parochial schools—schools paid for by churches and their congregation—a student may not be able to use state funds, but may be able to tap a private grant from the school itself based on income levels, grades, and general student achievement.
Corporate Grants – Few people know that it isn’t the government or the state government that provides the most education dollars. In fact, the best source for education money comes from the places you shop, eat, and work. Corporate grants from private trusts are a leading education supporter, and yet so few people know these grant programs exist that they routinely receive only a few applications for each particular grant. It would be recommended that you take the time to come up with a list of large companies active in your local area, and call each one for a list of grant opportunities. While you may have to wade through what amounts to libraries’ worth of pages to find a grant you qualify for, the barriers to entry are so great that you just may be the only one applying. Applications for such grants are usually as easy as filling out personal information on paper, or submitting a one-page grant request to the corporate headquarters. Build a list, dedicate an hour to making phone calls, and it is certain you’ll find more than your fair share of money all around your local area. No one else bothers to look for these opportunities, so naturally it’s a great place to start for high-acceptance opportunities.
Grants are free money that never has to be repaid. Usually intended for a specific purpose, most grants of $1,000 or less do not monitor heavily the application of the money, and often send checks made out to the winner. This cash can then be used on anything related to school, from textbooks, to uniforms, and even transportation to and from school, if allowed. Keep in mind that grants are tax free money, and while you do have to report them on your tax return, you will not be taxed on the amount of your winnings. With this in mind, it often makes far more sense for a student to spend time seeking out grants and scholarship opportunities than to work for minimum wage during their college experience.