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College-Based Grants

Most students seeking college financial aid know that “grant” means free money, but not everyone knows all of the different sources of grant funding available. In addition to state and federal grants, college-based grants also provide an important source of college funding for students with financial need. Students seeking money for college would do well to explore college-based grants as one of their options when finding college financial aid.

Sources Of Grant Funding

College-based grants are just one of many kinds of college scholarships and grants available. Typically, grants are need-based in some way, though that doesn’t mean that they are exclusively offered to only the poorest of students. While federal grant programs, such as Pell and SEOG, are typically reserved for students with the lowest expected family contributions as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, other grants may not have such strict income criteria. A number of state grant programs, and even some federal grants, focus on a student’s college major or intended career more so than the student’s family income, and campus-based grant programs have other criteria, as well.

College-Based Grant Criteria

College-based grants are often awarded as a supplement to federal grants and state grants, often as a means of making college more affordable for a particular student or group of students. For example, student athletes are likely to receive college-based grant awards in addition to other athletic scholarships. Public and private colleges may also offer campus-based grants for minorities, women, or out-of-state students. Students with a sibling at the college they plan to attend may find college-based grant aid available to them, as well. Many private colleges also use grants to discount tuition for students they want to recruit or to offset the cost of tuition for financially needy students whose federal student financial aid does not cover their full cost of attendance.

Finding College-Based Grants

The best way to find college-based grants on your campus is to talk to your college’s financial aid office. They can tell you what grant programs your college offers, as well as how to apply. Some college-based grants may be awarded automatically to all students who complete the FAFSA by the college deadline, while others will require a separate application. You may also want to check with your department, as there may be college-based grants for students with your major.

We also have a number of college-based grant opportunities listed in our scholarship database. Conducting a free college scholarship search can alert you to campus-based grants at the institutions in which you’ve expressed interest, as well as help you find other college grants and scholarships that are relevant to your situation. Below are a few of the college-based grants we’ve heard about to give you some idea of what is out there for students.

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