Students often seek federal Pell grants as a way to meet the costs of college tuition and, for many low income students, these federal grants are the only means of paying for college they may have. While there are scholarships and student loans available to the majority of college students, many low income students are in desperate need of additional funding that can cover not only tuition and fees but, in many cases, money that is needed for books, room and board, or food. While there are scholarships available that can help cover these costs, low income students can also qualify for Federal Pell Grant funds, which come in a variety of categories.
A general Federal Pell Grant is currently worth a maximum of $5,550. The amount that is awarded will not only be dependent upon the students’ financial need but the costs of the University they will be attending, as well. Funding also depends upon a student’s full-time or part-time status and whether a student will attend college for a full academic year or not. Many individuals use Federal Pell Grants as a way to pay the majority of or entirety of their college costs. Also, since this form of financial aid doesn’t need to be repaid there is no debt after graduation.
Another federal grant that is available to college students is the TEACH Grant. This grant is available for students who plan to teach after graduation in a public or private school that serves low-income families. Currently, this grant is worth up to $4,000 per year for students who qualify and agree to the terms. Students must teach in an approved educational field for at least four years after graduation from a degree program where the TEACH Grant was used. This is a grant that has helped many educators fund their college career so that they may work in an educational institution.
New grants are often proposed and beginning in the 2010-11 school year the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant has been made available to students who may not qualify for a Pell Grant but had a parent or guardian who was a member of the U.S. Military and died during the course of service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001.
There are also grants like the SMART Grant, which is available to students in their third and fourth year in college who are majoring in areas like life science, physical or computer science, mathematics, or technology. Institutional grants are also available from many colleges and universities as well, so when researching colleges a student is often advised to ask about the types of grants that may be offered.
Despite the fact that the costs of attending a college or university are on the rise there are opportunities for low income students to meet tuition and fees. Again, scholarships and student loan opportunities are available to many college students, but there are these various federal and institutional grants that can also be of assistance as well. Researching online also will yield a variety of results for financial aid opportunities, so it’s now easier then ever for students to find the financial assistance they need for college costs.
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