Edvisors Private Student Loans
Home > Financial Aid > Grants > Applying for Grants

Applying for Grants

Like college scholarships, grants are free money awards that do not need repayment. Since most students qualify for grants, do your research and find out what you are eligible for. This will help keep your student loan debt manageable. Grants vary from hundreds of dollars to full-rides, so take advantage of grant opportunities. Apply early to maximize your opportunity for financial aid.

Know the Basics

The first step to applying for grants is completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The FAFSA calculates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which determines what the government expects from you financially. The results of your FAFSA is on the Student Aid Report (SAR), which describes what government, state, and institutional grants you are eligible for. Some state-sponsored and college-based grants require additional applications grant funding. Most have academic requirements. Pay attention to the directions of each award so you don’t submit an incomplete application. Funding levels of federal grants change annually, so do not miss the deadline. If you miss the deadline you will not get a grant. Apply early to avoid this issue.

Am I eligible?

Both student and parent income is considered with deciding financial aid amounts. Students with most financial need are eligible for the most federal funding. For example, most Pell Grant money goes to students with a family income below $20,000 a year. Those eligible for Pell Grants are also eligible for other grants, including the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant. Most colleges have extra funding available for low-income students.

Most grants are need-based, but there are grants that focus on student-specific characteristics. Popular grants are broken in 3 categories: federal, state and collegiate. Some private organizations and local groups also have funds to support higher education. Students who need to go to graduate school for their jobs have a lot of grant options. Most states offer grants to students based on specific criteria, such as race/ethnicity, area of study, or career path. Grants are very specific, so focus on grants that you most qualify for. Read the fine print. Some grants have conditions such as working in a specific field, specific location, or for a certain company for a specific number of years. Research every grant opportunity to maximize your chances of winning a lot of money.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Senator Outlines Student Loan Relief in New Proposal

July 30, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the current chairman of the Senate education committee, has recently proposed the Student Loan Repayment and FAFSA Simplification Act, a piece of legislation that would allow students with no income to forgo federal student loan repayments. His recommendations, which he developed with bipartisan support, would also simplify the FAFSA and reduce the number of federal loan repayment options from nine to two. [...]

It’s Not Too Late: Guide to Appealing Financial Aid

July 28, 2020

by Izzy Hall

Have your financial circumstances changed due to COVID-19? You’re not alone. Many students and their families have faced unemployment, reduced job hours and general loss of economic stability in the wake of the pandemic. And as the FAFSA determines your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) based on income from the previous year, students may have greater financial need now than they did when they initially filed for federal aid. Unfortunately, the deadline to submit the FAFSA passed at the end of June. However, it is not too late to appeal your student financial aid from your chosen institution. [...]

The FAFSA: Why You Should File (And How!)

July 23, 2020

by Izzy Hall

The FAFSA is a critical tool for both applying to colleges and applying to scholarships – in fact, need-based scholarships often require that you submit the FAFSA as part of your application. So, in a time of economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s surprising to learn that many low-income and minority students did not submit the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year even though they would’ve been eligible for federal aid. At Scholarships.com, we don’t want students to miss out on any form of college financial aid. Applications for the next academic year will open soon, so get prepared by reviewing these FAFSA facts. [...]

Last Reviewed: August 2020