How to Get Money for College Through Grants and Scholarships
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According to some research, 66% of parents and students reported high levels of stress about paying for college. Luckily, if you’re one of these families, there are plenty of grants and scholarships available to help you pay for college.
Continue reading to learn about some available scholarships and grants and how to apply.
Scholarships are a great way to help you earn some money for college because there are so many out there. Plus, the scholarship awards range from a couple hundred dollars to paying for your entire tuition.
While the larger amounts are less common, there are plenty of ways to find scholarships that you qualify for.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS?
Unfortunately, many students don’t think they’ll qualify for college scholarships because they weren’t valedictorian or a star athlete.
However, that’s simply not the case.
There are plenty of available scholarships that offer free money for college based on a number of different characteristics, such as those listed above. That means that anyone may qualify for a college scholarship, even you.
All it takes is doing some initial research to find out which scholarships you qualify for and submitting the application requirements, which usually includes an essay or writing sample.
HOW TO FIND COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS
Finding scholarships, and learning how to apply, used to be a challenge as you’d have to flip through worn out and dated books at the library.
Now, there are plenty of resources online that are updated in real time and allow you to find the perfect scholarship for you.
One way is to use Unigo.com, a college scholarship database, which is the premier network for current and future college students as they figure out how to pay for college.
Other ways of finding scholarships include:
- High school guidance counselor
- College financial aid office
- College guidance counselor
- Federal agencies
- Public library
- Foundations, religious or community organizations, or civic groups
- Ethnicity-based organizations
- Professional organizations related to your field of interest
- Your employer (or your parent’s employers)
- Local organizations and clubs
EASY SCHOLARSHIPS FOR COLLEGE
Check out some easy scholarships below and click on any to apply before the deadline.
Deadline: Annually by December 31
To apply for this scholarship answer the question: If a historical figure was back to life in the present day, who is and what is their favorite app?
Deadline: Annually by January 31
Requirements: Dreams can have a powerful impact on our lives, as well as reveal your subconscious thoughts. Here’s your chance to earn a scholarship for sharing them.
Deadline: Annually by February 28
Requirements: The Sweet and Simple Scholarship Committee wants to hear about a sweet and simple gift you received that had a big impact.
Deadline: Annually by March 31
Requirements: We’ve all thought about what superpower we’d like to have. Now, those thoughts may help you earn a scholarship!
Deadline: Annually by April 30
Requirements: It’s often been said that education is the key to success; What doors could earning a degree open for you?
Deadline: Annually by May 31
Requirements: What’s so special about the number five? Now’s your chance to potentially earn some money to help pay for college by sharing what you think makes five stand out.
Deadline: Annually by June 30
Requirements: What if you had a chance to do-over a moment in your life? What would it be and how would the change impact your future?
Deadline: Annually by July
Requirements: July is National Ice Cream Month, so it only makes sense to ask: if you were to be an ice cream flavor, which would it be and why?
Deadline: Annually by August
Requirements: The Make Me Laugh Scholarship is a great way to show how funny you are.
Deadline: Annually by September
Requirements: Whether it’s a message to the world or a simple greeting, this scholarship gives you the platform you’re looking for.
Deadline: Annually by October
Requirements: If you’ve ever envisioned a zombie apocalypse and how you would survive, here’s your chance to share it with the world.
Deadline: Annually by November
Requirements: Have you come across those who told you not to pursue your degree? How did you respond? Why does education matter to you?
Deadline: Annually by December
Requirements: The Top Ten List Scholarship thinks you’re amazing and they want to hear the top ten reasons.
Deadline: Annually by May 31 & November 30
Requirements: Tell other students about your experience so they can make better decisions about college.
TIP FOR APPLYING TO SCHOLARSHIPS
When writing an essay for a scholarship, always:
- Keep in mind your audience
- Apply as early as possible
- Follow instructions
- Double check your spelling and grammar
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
Unlike some of the other types of financial aid, both grants and scholarships don’t need to be repaid as long as you complete the requirements laid out. For example, some grants may require you to be a full time student or may be tied to a subject area. Also, some scholarships may require you to hold a certain GPA. So be sure to know what you need to do to hold up your end of the deal!
Because grants and scholarships generally don’t have to be repaid. This makes them some of the most sought after ways of paying for college for both undergrad and grad students. However, there are some differences between these two. For instance, many scholarships are merit based, which means that they are awarded to students who have achieved certain goals or have certain qualities. For example, there are awards based on:
- Where you live
- Race or religion
- Academic or athletic record
- Extracurricular activities
- Essay competition
On the other hand, grants are usually awarded as need-based. However, many schools offer both need-based and merit-based grants to students.
On the other hand, most of the federal grants are need based and for those students who meet certain criteria.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRANTS AND COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS
|Benefit||College Scholarship||College Grants|
|Offered By||State Government, Institutions, Private Sources||Federal Government, State Government, Institutions|
|How Winners Are Decided||Merit-based||Financial need-based (some exceptions)|
|Have to Repay?||No||No|
GRANTS FOR COLLEGE
Grants work a little bit differently than scholarships, though they can be beneficial because you don’t have to repay them either. So, just like scholarships, they’re free money for college.
However, often these are based on financial need, though as mentioned, many colleges and universities also offer grants through the institution that are merit-based or a combination of merit-based and need-based.
There are two types of grants for college:
- Federal Grants
- Institutional Grants
As every school has unique grants, the list would be entirely too long to publish here. So, contact your financial aid office.
As most federal grants are awarded to students with financial need, they use the FAFSA to determine what amount of need you qualify for, just like the different types of federal student loans. Keep in mind that you need to complete the FAFSA every year to update the information.
TYPES OF FEDERAL GRANTS
There are four types of federal grants, each with slightly different requirements. Be sure to check the specific requirements to see if you qualify.
1. FEDERAL PELL GRANTS
Usually, these grants are only awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.
2. FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (FSEOG)
The FSEOG program is administered directly by the financial aid office at participating schools and not all schools participate. Check with your school’s financial aid office to find out if your school participates.
Similar to the Pell grants, FSEOGs are awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need and the school’s financial aid office will award the grant to students with the most financial need.
3. TEACHER EDUCATION ASSISTANCE FOR COLLEGE AND HIGHER EDUCATION (TEACH)
These grants are different than others because they require you to take certain kinds of classes in order to get the grant and then do a certain kind of job to keep them from turning into a loan.
Awarded to undergraduate teaching students, you are required to teach for a minimum of four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families.
If this service obligation is not met, the grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
4. IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN SERVICE GRANT
The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is only available to those whose parent or guardian served in the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001.
In addition, you need to have been under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time parent’s or guardian’s death.
FIND GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS TO HELP YOU EARN FREE MONEY FOR COLLEGE
Visit Unigo.com to find even more scholarships. Unigo has a database of over 3.6 million college scholarships and grants worth over $14 billion dollars! To make your search easy from the start, Unigo divides its list of scholarships into comprehensive categories. You can also create an account to find personal scholarship results.