Government Grants for Schools

When you’re looking for ways to fund your education, remember to look at government grants. Grants are gifts, pure and simple, so they don’t need to be repaid. Unlike scholarships, which are based on academic achievement and merit, government grants are usually awarded based on demonstrated financial need. That can make them your best source of financial aid.

There are a number of grant programs to help people go back to school. The most widely available is the Federal Pell Grant program. Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduates pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. The amount of the grant is based on a number of factors: the amount you or your family expect to contribute, the cost of attending your chosen school, and whether you are a full or part-time student. Check with your school’s financial aid officer to see if you are eligible.

For more information on the Federal Pell Grant, contact the U.S. Department of Education website:

http://ed.gov/programs/fpg/index.html

Even if you receive a Pell Grant, though, it won’t pay for everything. Pell Grants are sometimes supplemented with money from FSEOG, or the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant. FSEOG is given in block amounts to particular schools, which in turn dole out the money to their neediest students based on their own internal calculations. Your financial aid officer can tell you if your school participates in FSEOG, and whether or not you are eligible.

The U.S. Department of Education website will give you more information about FSEOG:

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/fseog/index.html

The Learning Educational Assistance Program, or LEAP, is another federally-funded grant program. Like the Pell Grant and FSEOG, LEAP is awarded based on demonstrated financial need. Like the Pell Grant and FSEOG, students must apply for LEAP through their financial aid office.

For more information about LEAP, check out the Department of Education website:

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/leap/index.html

Other grants are funded by the states. The easiest way to find out which grants your state offers is by visiting your state’s Department of Education website, or asking your school’s financial aid officer. Legal residence is necessary, but amounts of time differ from state to state.

Find your state’s grants at the following website:

http://www.collegescholarships.org/grants/state.htm

The best place to start when looking for school grants is with your school’s financial aid office. Make an appointment today and get the ball rolling!

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