When looking to pay for astronomical tuition costs, you should not stop at federal grant programs. Obviously, the federal Pell and FSEOG should be part of your financial aid plans, especially if you have a significant financial need, but there are a bevy of other grant opportunities available. Remember, tuition isn’t your only concern. The cost of room and board, textbooks, and even transportation are on the rise.
In addition to federal grants, there are state-run grants as well. These grants vary according to state and may require that you attend a state school, rather than a private university. Like a federal Pell Grant, a state grant does not need to be repaid – it is a gift from the state rather than the federal government. Like a federal grant, state university applicants will automatically be considered for state aid if they submit a financial aid application.
Types of Grants
Athletic grants are similar to athletic scholarships. The main difference is that an athletic grant only covers a portion of tuition, rather than the tuition in full. Athletic grants may be for less high-profile sports than basketball, football, and baseball – the three sports that have major scholarships at many universities. If you did not qualify for an athletic scholarship, there may be athletic grants available.
The Educational Opportunity Program Grant is similar to the FSEOG – the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. The EOP Grant is also awarded via the FAFSA application. The maximum amount for an EOP Grant is only around $750 so it will need to be combined with other types of grant opportunities.
There are also grants available for minority students. An example of this is the Bureau of Indian Affairs Grant. In addition to financial eligibility requirements – such as yearly income – a student must prove that he or she has at least one quarter Native American Heritage. Similar grants are available for African-American students, Hispanic students, or other minority backgrounds. There are also grants for students who have come out of the foster care system.
Each state has different grants available, as well as different requirements for each grant. It is important to inquire about state grants in addition to the traditional Pell or FSEOG. If you are not awarded a federal grant, or the FSEOG has run out of funds, be sure to check into these other programs. Each grant may have overlapping application deadlines, so it may be necessary to apply to each grant concurrently. In some cases, the FAFSA application will cover state grants in addition to federal grants, but this is not true across the board.