What Is a College Grant?

College grants represent a form of financial aid that can be used in additional to student loans and scholarships. A college grant is offered through federal and state agencies as well as corporations and non-profit organizations. Continue reading for more information regarding college grants. Schools offering Nonprofit Management & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

College Grants

In essence, a college grant is free money that can be used by students to ease the cost of many college expenses. Some of the advantages of a college grant include unrestricted use of funds and, unlike student loans, an absence of repayment obligations. The following list displays the different types of college grants:

  • Federal and state
  • Minority and women
  • Subject-specific

The U.S. Department of Education's website (www.ed.gov) provides information on a variety of grant types, as well as other sources of funding for college.

Federal and State Grants

Federal and state grants are the most common types of college grants. State college grant programs vary from state to state, with a variety of eligibility requirements and types of grants. The most well-known federal college grant programs are described here:

  • Federal Pell Grant: This grant is available to low-income undergraduate students. The maximum award amount during the 2011-2012 academic year was $5,550, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG): This grant is available for low-income students who are the least able to pay for college. Students who qualify for a Federal Pell Grant may also quality for this funding.
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant: This offering is open to undergraduate students with exceptional academic records.
  • National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART): The SMART grant is available to third- and fourth-year students majoring in computer science, mathematics, physical sciences or engineering.

Grants for Minorities and Women

Many types of college grants are available to minorities and women. Specific grants are offered to African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and Native American students. Grants for women are generally awarded to those enrolled in areas of study not typically populated by women, such as mathematics and the physical sciences.

Subject-Specific Grants

A large number of corporations, private organizations and even federal agencies provide college grants to students majoring in specific fields of study. Those pursuing degrees in engineering, nursing, technology, teaching and even the arts can receive a specialized college grant. These types of grants are meant to attract students to and retain them in particular academic programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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