Where to Find Student Grants
By F. F. John
, last updated December 22, 2011
Given how costly education is, finding grant money for school is imperative for many students who lack adequate funding. College tuition, for instance rose higher than the national GDP in 2010, according to the College Board. Graduate programs and other professional programs like nursing are no different, with students struggling to afford their degree. If you are in need of a student grant, consider the following as they could help you achieve your educational aspirations.
Grant money is available to American citizens and legal permanent residents from the federal government. These grants were largely created to assist underprivileged individuals pay for their education. One such opportunity is the Pell Grant, which provides financial assistance to selected students that display financial need. Another option is the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant, which provides up to $16,000. The money is given to college students who plan to become teachers. To find one of the many grants and scholarships offered by the federal government, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov. The website is administered by the U.S. Department of Education and contains key information about financial aid. A discussion with someone at your school's financial aid office can also lead to helpful information.
Like the federal government, state governments are equally invested in the education of their residents. Consequently, there are several state-sponsored programs to help students pay for a degree. In some cases, these programs are limited to students attending a school within the state. Virginia, for example, has a shortage of nurses and according to the AARP, this problem will only get worse. To prevent that from happening, the state provides many educational grants in the form of scholarships to state residents. One such program is the Nurse Practitioner/Nurse Midwife Scholarship Program. Neighboring Maryland also provides educational funding through scholarships like the Howard P. Rawlings Program of Educational Excellence Awards or the Senatorial Scholarship, which gives between $400 and $9,000 to enrolled college and graduate students. These and other programs can be found by visiting your home state's commission for education website. Alternatively, a call to your local representative, be it mayor or congress person can also point in you in the eight direction.
There are many honorary societies across the country. These groups were created to provide support and aid in the growth of high achieving students and professionals. In addition to providing career advice, many of these groups also offer grant money to student members. One such organization is the sigma theta Tau international society. STTI is a nursing society and offers a $5,000 nursing grant through the Doris Bloch research award. This money is given to registered nurses who advance professional nursing through their research. To find honorary societies that are similar to STTI, be sure to ask your school's guidance counselor.
Various religious organizations provide grant money for schooling. This act is an extension of their function of providing more than just spiritual support to members and others in need. Hence, the Presbyterian church offers a several awards of up to $2,000 each year via the Student Opportunity Scholarship program. These grants are available to church members that have completed their freshman year of college and have at least a 2.5 grade point average. There are other organizations that make money available to members of a specific religious group. The Islamic Scholarship Fund, for instance, assists qualified Muslim Americans pay for school. Students of the Jewish faith have the American Jewish League for Israel as a potential source of grant money. Recipients must, however, use the funds to attend an Israeli university. If you belong to one of many religious groups, speak to your pastor, imam or rabbi to learn about potential grant opportunities. Or, visit the official website for your church, mosque or synagogue for additional information.
Many private organizations aim to support the education of select students by giving them financial assistance. Some of these groups target specific types of students. Minority students can take advantage of the Gates Millennium Scholarship program, which provides full tuition assistance. The American Medical Association also provides the Minority Scholars Award and other programs to limit the amount of debt students graduate with. There are also heritage-based groups that give money to students enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate programs. The Hispanic scholarship fund gives money to students of Hispanic and Latin origin. The program provides several grants of varying amounts to qualifying students attending accredited schools.