How to Get College Grants?

Living with the economic realities of today’s world and tomorrow’s business climate, it is not difficult to understand the need for advanced education and training, in order to have a successful and prosperous career. At first glance, the cost of furthering your education might seem out of reach and even prohibitive, but the reality is there are a number of different sources and ways to access funding. What follows is a primer on how to get there.

Generally, the criteria for eligibility and Grant funding is financial need. One has to demonstrate that neither he nor his family has the financial where with all to pay for advanced education. But there are other considerations as well. Grants are also given to students based on merit and academic achievement and even awarded to those in specific fields of study.

Reports indicate that of the billions of dollars allocated for Grants to support advanced educational studies, about one third of the money has been granted. This suggests there is a lot left and available to qualified students.

If a grant is to be part of your educational financial plan then do your homework and start early. It can take up to a year to process your application and receive the funding you desire. As they say, “snooze and you lose”.

The Grant Roadmap

Your journey starts by identifying the school(s) and the discipline of study you wish to pursue. This allows you to estimate the cost of your education and accordingly, how much money you will need to attended the school of choice. Armed with that information, make a trip to your guidance office if still in high school, or contact the financial aid office of your college of choice to get help in the grant application process. Remember, start early as strict deadlines must me met along the way to maintain eligibility. These resources are valuable tools to be used as they have the experience and knowledge of the Grant application process and the various sources of funding available.

Federal funding requires the applicant to submit a Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) by a June 30th deadline. This is a continual process that must be completed every school year and can be done “online”. The easy to use menu driven application explains the necessary steps required to properly file and track your progress. Once your financial aid assessment has been completed, the information is then sent to your college of choice. And there is more.

State funding and other forms of grants are also available and can be found by searching “Grants” on your browser where you will find many options open to you for financial aid. It is also in your best interest to apply for several Grants when shopping as some will reject you. Too few submissions and you might miss out all together. In some cases, grants can be combined together giving you access to even more funds and that is another reason to make several applications.

Foundationcenter.org is one of many good places to shop as it has a database listing U.S. grant givers and their grants. This is an opportunity for Corporate America to “give back” and common among large companies, particularly for their employee’s dependents.

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To help make grant shopping easier, check out

www.usscholarshipguide.org
businessmajors.about.com
www.governmentgrants.com
Ed.Gov

As well as the resources listed above.

These are just a few among the many ways to find Grant funding to further your education. There are many more.

In summary, use all the resources available, and there are many, to learn how to, where to and what to do when looking for education Grants. Your guidance office is a good place to start.

  • Begin early for the process can take a long time to complete.
  • Apply for several Grants at once as some will reject you and you can probably pool ones that don’t.
  • Do your “Due Diligence”, research and learn about your options. It is in your best interest.
  • Preserver. It takes time and energy but building your future is worth it.
  • And remember, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”

Happy hunting!

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