College Grants Help You Pay For School!
Grants are money for college you don’t have to pay back. Similar to college scholarships, grants are free and come with no obligations or interest you are obligated to return. To qualify , you must meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements that most grants have. Below, a number of types of grants for college are broken down to help you choose which to apply for. These college grants will help you pay for school.
Federal Pell Grants
The Federal Pell grant program is a program that was and still remains highly controversial. Few people know what to think of the program other than it provides a large amount of funding to lower income individuals. Some people believe that the program actually awards the money to the people that deserve it, while others believe that the funding is not going to be beneficial to the students.
The income level needed to qualify for a Federal Pell grant is an EFC or expected family contribution of less than $5,273. This is the amount at which an individual can qualify for some type of aid from the Pell grant program. The expected family contribution is not the amount of your gross income or adjusted gross income from your tax return. It is calculated when you fill out the FASFA. Individuals who qualify will see that their income level and EFC is listed on the end of the FASFA process. Individuals will be awarded the Pell grant funding by the school that they are attending.
The lower an EFC that an individual has, the more financial aid they can qualify for from the Pell grant program. For example, individuals who have an extremely low EFC, such as an EFC of 0 can qualify for up to $2,775 per semester. This amount can be applied to each semester that the student is fully enrolled in. There are limits to the Pell grant program. For example, the Pell grant amount will be less for individuals who are not considered full time students at their college. They will either receive less Pell grant funding or they may receive none at all. This depends upon the students EFC and several other factors.
The income levels needs to get Pell grants have not changed much. However, an individual who receives a Pell grant must continue to qualify academically. They must achieve what is considered to be adequate academic progress. The exact amount and GPA that the student must receive in a semester will depend upon their class standing. Students can be placed into financial aid probation or have their financial aid termination if they do not meet adequate academic progress!
What Are Cal Grants and How Do You Get Them?
Grants for college are one of the numerous state funding opportunities available to students who graduate from high school within a certain state. The state of California is awarding their students grants that can be used to pay for their educational expenses at a community college, four year college or university. Cal Grants do require that students meet certain qualifications as well as apply for the program.
Cal Grants can pay up to $9,700 a year in school expenses. Students must be a graduating high school senior or recent graduate. Students must also meet academic and financial requirements as well as submit two required forms by the March 2nd deadline set by Cal Grants. It is not difficult to apply for the Cal Grant. You simply must submit the proper forms, GPA verification paperwork and the other information that is requested. Students must fill out the FASFA form that is required for most scholarships, schools and financial aid opportunities. Anyone who does not fill out the FASFA will not even be eligible for a grant from Cal Grants.
Cal Grant A is the main grant that is awarded. This grant provides tuition and fee assistance at California state schools as well as some private schools. Students can utilize these grants to ensure that they will be able to afford the cost of their schooling. While most grants will not be awarded to students who do not meet the entitlement criteria, there is a portion of the Cal Grant A that can be awarded based upon GPA and income verification.
Cal Grant B focuses on a living allowance and assistance with tuition and fees. This grant can be up to $1,551 for books and living expenses. This is also an entitlement grant and can be awarded based upon other conditions.
There are other minor grants that can be awarded under the Cal Grants funding act. However, these grants do not provide more than a few hundred dollars or are alternate award options for the Cal Grants. Cal Grants are an excellent tool to pay for college for anyone who qualifies.
Federal Student Aid
In addition to offering Pell Grants, the U.S. Department of Education offers resources on preparing for and helping you pay for school beyond high school. Here are a couple of those college grants that help pay for school.
- The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART Grant) picks up where the Academic Competitiveness Grant leaves off – with $4,000 awards to undergraduate juniors or seniors studying computer science, engineering, mathematics, or sciences. Applicants must be eligible for and receiving the Pell Grant. Here are some of the requirements set for this college grant:
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- be Pell Grant-eligible during the same award year;
- be enrolled at least half-time;
- have at least a 3.0 GPA
- The Academic Competitiveness (AC) Grant is available to undergraduate freshman and sophomores with outstanding academic records and with demonstrated aptitudes for leadership and service. An Academic Competitiveness Grant provides $750 for the first year of study and $1,300 for the second year. The ACG grant can be combined with the federal Pell Grant. Some of the eligibility requirements include:
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- be a Federal Pell Grant recipient;
- be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program;
- be a first or second-year undergraduate student or a student in a certificate program of at least one year in a degree program at a two-year or four-year degree-granting institution