College grants are designed to help students with a financial need cover some of the expenses that students must pay to attend school. If you are already enrolled to attend a specific school, it is important to review the long list of grants offered by the school. You may be eligible for federal grants, state grants, and also merit-based private grants that can truly help you as a starving student. Read on and learn about the types of grants that you can apply for, and where you can find out which grants are offered at your school.

What Are the Most Common Types of College Grants Offered at Higher Education Institutions?

One reason why grants are such a popular financial vehicle for students is because the money that you receive does not have to be paid back. The most common types of grants offered at regionally and some nationally accredited schools are Federal Pell Grants. These are needs-based grants that are distributed each semester. Most states also offer the Academic Competitiveness Grant, which is designed for experienced students within the state who have earned a high GPA. While both opportunities have eligibility requirements that involve financial need, there are options that are based strictly on merit.

Private institutions and even individuals who would like to help promote the importance of attaining a degree also offer grants. You may be able to find an athletic grant if you are talented in a specific sport, a grant for students pursuing a specific major, or grants for students if you plan on studying abroad. Specific minority groups that are underrepresented in the school may be able to receive a special grant that comes from private, federal or institutional sources. As you can see, there are many more options than you may have initially thought.

Ways to Find Out Which Grants You Can Apply For

If you are still in high school and you have already been accepted to a school, you can start applying for financial aide opportunities as a senior. You should meet with your academic guidance counselor to discuss the process, and the counselor will have access to information on which grants you may be eligible for. Applying for grants while you are still in high school and while you have professional help on your side is ideal.

If you are a reentry student or you are already attending college, you will need to contact the financial aide department of your college directly to ask about your options. College counselors may have information on some institutional grants, but their specialization is in helping you map out the right path to take to earn your degree. If you want an expert in grants to help you, financial aide representatives are the experts to trust. You can also conduct your own research online by visiting the financial aide webpage and learning about all of the grants that are available. The website should tell you about the deadlines, the award limits and eligibility requirements.

Statistics show that 73 percent of students receive Federal grants and 80 percent receive some type of institutional grant. If you want to receive free money for school, do your homework. Do not miss out on college grants that can reduce your financial burden as you study for your degree.

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