The high cost of modern education is often a deterrent to prospective students who are unaware financial aid is available. Government education grants help offset the expenses of some or all tuition fees for qualified candidates.
Grant money is highly beneficial because it commonly does not require repayment when the money is used for its designated purpose.
What are the names and types of popular government education grants available in 2021? What are the specific benefits associated with different grants? Knowing how and where to obtain various federal education grants helps make college affordable. Read ahead for important helpful information about education grants and how to obtain money you need to help pay for your higher education today.
What Are Federal Education Grants?
Federal education grants provide money to qualified candidates for use toward college tuition and other advanced education-related expenses. Unlike student loans or other money borrowed on a financing plan, grant money commonly requires no repayment plans. For this reason education grants are widely considered free money, although conditions do apply. For example, the money awarded for education grants is allowed to be used for specific purposes only. Purposes vary with each grant program but frequently include tuition, books and other specific education-based expenses only. Recipients of federal education grant money who misuse the funds for purposes outside the permitted guidelines are susceptible to both repayment and interest penalties.
Grant money is sometimes awarded directly to approved recipients but is frequently paid directly to the college/university a recipient is attending. In the latter scenario, awarded grant money is applied toward applicable expenses by your school as needed. Some federal grant money is also disbursed by the U.S. state in which you attend school. Federal and state education grants are not the same things but there is some crossover, especially when the U.S. federal government funds certain state-facilitated financial aid programs.
Types & Names of Federal Edu Grants
Federal education grants are offered via the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. EDU) and are each designed to serve common and unique purposes. Every federal education grant shares the common purpose of helping prospective students afford to attend college or career/trade school. Individual education grants are designed to help specific demographics, however. The Federal Pell Grant is perhaps the most common and popular grant awarded today. Money is funded and frequently distributed by this federal government directly to participating educational institutions, which in turn apply the funds to applicable student expenses. Qualifying for a Pell Grant is primarily based on your cumulative household income. Funds of up to $6,345 per student are awarded to those experiencing the most significant financial hardship. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another grant awarded based on exceptional financial need. Approximately 3,800 postsecondary institutions currently participate in this grant program today.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant is available to qualified applicants pursuing an education & career as a professional teacher. Money awarded via the TEACH grant is usable toward the study of various topics/fields, including special education, science, bilingual education and any other subject designated as high-need by a local, state or federal education agency. Several post-graduation requirements also apply to this grant.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant (IASG) is available to applicants who do not qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. Additional IASG qualification requirements also exist, including applicants having a parent or guardian who died after September 11, 2001, while serving during active duty in Afghanistan or Iraq. Finally, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers grants for qualified U.S. veterans as well.
Benefits of Federal Education Grants
Federal education grants are beneficial in a variety of ways. Offsetting the costs of tuition and other education-related expenses is a primary benefit. Financial aid sometimes makes the difference between a student attending college or not, so federal Edu education grants help make college accessible to students who otherwise might have abandoned course. When used properly, grant money is not subject to repayment and therefore places no financial burden on students post-graduation. In addition, no limits are placed on the amount of grant money each student is eligible to receive. This means applying for multiple grants simultaneously is permitted and potentially increases the amount of financial aid awarded per candidate.
How to Apply for Various Federal Education Grants
The primary method of applying for federal education grants is by completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. It is important to not only meet but apply ahead of all deadlines as set forth in your applicable U.S. state. Competition for grant money is strong and most federal education grant funds are awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis to applicants experiencing only the highest degree of financial hardship.
Documents and personal information required focuses on the financial & resident status of you and your household. Proof of your identity including your Social Security Number (SSN) are also required. Necessary paperwork for the TEACH and IASG grants includes additional verification and documents pursuant to your pursued topic of study and service status of your deceased parent(s) respectively. Because these federal education grants are awarded based on financial hardship and specialized circumstances, certain academic information/records such as your Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores are not requested.
Once you are approved to receive Edu grant money, funds are either paid to you directly or issued to your educational institution. Schools are required by law to disburse funds a minimum of once per semester, trimester or quarter (term). Institutions not using semesters, trimesters or quarters are required to disburse funds a minimum of twice every academic year. Grant money paid directly to you is disbursed via direct deposit or check. Additional information about applying for various federal education grants is available at: