Need Based Grants
If you are considering starting college or going back to school, there are many plans to be made and things that you have to take into consideration.
Need based grants are offered to those with limited financial resources who want to study but otherwise couldn’t. They can come from several sources, including the federal government, state governments, private foundations and the schools themselves.
Most of those things can be dealt with in due course, like work schedules, living arrangements, or child care. However, the one thing that you must have in place before you begin is a plan for how you will pay for your classes. Many students are already struggling financially and have few resources to use for college, yet their situations will not improve if they can’t get further eudcation or training. Fortutately, need based grants are in place for just this reason.
Federal need based grants. These are distributed to students regardless of grade poit average or other merit based considerations, although most schools do require at least a passing GPA. They can include the Pell grant, the FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant), and the LEAP (Leveraging Education Assistance Partnership). The Pell grant is the most commonly awarded of these grants, but people with particular need often qualify for the other two as well. You can find more information about this at the Department of Education’s website, www.ed.gov.
State need based grants. To get these grants, you must be a resident of the state where you’re applying, fill out the appropriate forms, and show financial need. In most cases, you have to be free of any drug convictions and have never defaulted on a student loan. You usually apply for these funds with the same set of paperwork you use for federal funds.
Private grants and scholarships. A simple search through a scholarship site such as FastWeb.com or CollegeScholarships.com can lead you to lists of scholarships whose primary qualification is financial need. Read through these carefully, though; there may be other criteria you also have to meet.
- Grants from schools. Sometimes federal or private grant funds are given to individual schools, and so they might not show up on lists provided by more general websites. However, your advisor or your school’s financial aid officer might know of funds for struggling students that are not well publicized or are outside of the usual application process.
Other Needs Based grants include: