In obtaining a grant for your college or university education it is important to know the right information to ensure you are not disqualified for lack of requirements. Do the following to know the grants and college scholarships you can be eligible to apply for:
- Search online or go to the Financial Aid Office of the college or university you are applying with.
- Gather information about your possible choices.
- Separately list the requirements needed to apply for each grant.
- Match your profile with the information you gathered.
- Get the list of standard information needed.
- If you are applying for a need-based grant, get the list of relevant documentation required to support your claim.
- If you are interested in a Federal grant, apply with the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid to determine if you are eligible.
- Find out which public or private organizations are holding contests for applicants and what are the set criteria.
The standard information required for applications usually include your:
- Social Security number
- Marital status
- State residency and citizenship
- Educational background including degrees, masters education and distance education
- List of colleges and universities you intend to attend
- Preferred major course or degree to study
- Intended course workload to take, noting that full time students should take over 12 credits per semester
- Deductions and relevant income taxes applied
- Number of dependents
- Household members
- Spouse’s income
- List of assets
Required Parents’ Information:
- Educational attainment
- Income taxes and deductions
- Family members information
- Citizenship and state residency
- Household assets list
Every university or college offers college scholarships and grants for students. The information required is specific to the purpose of the application and may require additional data like:
- Detailed financial information of your parents, including tax returns
- Document as proof of eligibility
- Valid proof of identity
- Transcript of records
- Scores from standardized tests
- List of academic achievements
- Additional or extracurricular achievements
- Letters of recommendations
- Completed essays
The Federal government and your state are the best sources of funding, since they offer greater amounts than other grants. Federal grants are usually given to undergraduate freshmen and seniors, but they must be eligible for the Pell Grant. Other Federal grant programs include the SMART Grant or National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant and the Academic Competitiveness (AC) Grant.
For state governments, funds are provided based on the area of study and merit, like: the California Student Aid Commission grants are for deserving students under their Cal Grant program, while the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, grants funding for full and part time students.
Limitless sources for free grant money are available from individuals, trust funds, and religious organizations depending on the eligibility criteria for:
- Critical need professions for healthcare, nursing or teachers in math, computer science and engineering
- Deserving students of Hispanic, African-American, Asian and Jewish minority ethnicity
- People with disabilities
Educational opportunities for students are ensured by the “No Child Left Behind” Act that grants funding for college students. Search for the grant you qualify in for an opportunity to have a university education, master’s education, distance education or an engineering degree online.