Grants and scholarships are an extremely beneficial program that allows an eligible deserving student to finish college by getting a bachelor’s degree and pursue future career goals. There are many grants and scholarship programs currently available for students aspiring to go to college and looking for financial assistances. The US Government’s Department of Education also runs a program of its own which offers more than 15 million students over $150 billion in grants and financial aids each year, helping them to pursue their dreams and accomplish their potential. The Federal Student Aid program looks after the entire program and ensures that it runs smoothly through a team of 1200 employees serving countless colleges and processing more than 21 million FAFSA applications each year.
Each of the available loans grants have their own eligibility criterion. Let’s look at some of these financial aid programs who find out more about them.
First is the Federal Pell grant. This is a federal grant given to eligible candidates each year. A candidate however is eligible only for a maximum amount. The maximum amount is determined every year. The last award year saw a maximum eligible amount of $5550. Starting July 1 2012, Pell grant is not available for more than 12 semesters or the equivalent.
If a student’s parent died during his/her services in Iraq or Afghanistan post 9/11, he/she is eligible to a higher amount via the Pell grant. However the student has to be less than 24 years of age at the time of the parent’s death and should be enrolled in a college for at least as a part time student. Pell grants are not meant to be repaid like most other grants and are a huge financial support for students aspiring to complete college.
Colleges themselves also offer scholarships and financial aid programs to deserving candidates. There are also loans available for paying for college. There are two types of loans, one which is offered by the Federal government and the other that is offered by private lenders such as banks and or private credit union and even your college. Unlike grants these are to be repaid back with interest. If given a choice, always opt for Federal loans first as they have fixed rates. They also offer the student options for an income based repayment. They are also cheaper compared to private loans where little leverage is possible. Some schools may even ask you to make repayments while you’re still in school creating additional financial burden on you.