Tips for Getting Grants and Scholarships for College
By Renee Gerber
, last updated January 9, 2012
Many students require financial assistance in order to attend college after graduating from high school. The economy is not in the greatest shape, and the employment market is suffering because of it, which means that many families are struggling. Many of these cannot afford to send their kids to college simply because they lack the economic means. However, students can qualify for grants and be approved for scholarship awards so that they can achieve their educational goals, bringing them one step closer to their dream career.
The first thing you can do when you are looking at colleges for which to apply is to explore the grants that are available to you. There are very helpful grants that are awarded to millions of students in the United States each and every year that help them to pay for their college expenses, such as tuition, books, living expenses and other items. These are available on a federal level and are better known as FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, grants. Students in any area of the country are eligible for these awards. There are also types of financial assistance that can be available by state. For instance, one popular grant in the state of New York is known as TAP, or Tuition Assistance Program, which generally carries a maximum amount of $5,000 per student.
is another important grant that is awarded on the federal level and can assist students in their tuition for college. The maximum paid out to any one student is $5,500, but amounts will vary, depending on the overall total household income of the individual's residence. Students can also qualify for this grant regardless of whether they are attending school on a full or part time basis.
Special-Needs and Merit-Based Scholarships
Of course, federal and state grants may not always be sufficient for a student to be able to afford to attend the college or university of their choice. In many instances, when the individual studies at a city or state institution of higher learning, they will be in better shape in that regard. However, if the student wishes to attend a private university, they will no doubt require even more financial assistance. This is when scholarships will come in very handy. There are many different scholarships available to individuals who wish to study a specific major at college, whether you want to concentrate on law, computer engineering, art, medicine or any other subject. Commonly, scholarships are given to students who have a definitive financial need and might otherwise not be able to attend college. At the same time, these are also awarded to those who excel in their studies, so it is important to do your absolute best when you are seeking or have already been accepted for a scholarship.
Minority and State-Specific Scholarships
You can also find scholarship awards that are specifically given for the benefit of students of certain ethnicities or races, for people who generally have a more difficult time in attending school. In other scenarios, scholarships may be awarded to students who are from certain states and who are attending or plan to attend a specific school of higher learning in a certain city. You can explore all of these various scholarships by doing research on the Internet or through The Foundation Center's CD or print publication "Grants to Individuals," which is a great detailed reference book.