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How to Apply and Get College Grants

Updated on January 13, 2013

Getting Those College Grants

There is no doubt that college is expensive, very expensive. In fact, over the years the costs of college have grown greater and greater. Most students in the United States are now asking themselves the question, "How do I pay for college". No one wants to withdraw costly college loans that can be very troublesome to pay back. However if you are a student, don't worry, you also have the option for applying for college grants, which can help you pay for college.

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What Are College Grants?

Grants are one of the best ways to pay for college because they are basically free money you can use to fund your college education. Think of grants as loans that you don't actually need to pay back. There are many different types of grants that are given from many different organizations. Some grants are given out by the government, while others are given away by educational institutions. Grants can be awarded for a number of different reasons. Most grants are given away if a student has financial need, however some are merit based and are given to hard working students.

The Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is probably the most well known grant in the United States. The Pell Grant is given to students by the federal government and seeks to help students in low income family households. The maximum amount awarded is usually near $5,000. In order to eligible for the Pell Grant you need to complete the FAFSA or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

In my opinion, the Pell Grant is one of the best grants available to low income students because it easy to apply for and because many are given out. All you have to do is complete the FAFSA and you are set. Be sure to check it out.

Other Grants

Aside from the popular Pell grant, there are several other grants available such as the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National SMART grant. These are for students who are already in college.

The Academic Competitiveness grant awards academic students. It is given to students with good grades in their first few years of college. Normally students who are given the ACG also receive the Pell Grant.

The National SMART Grant is also an important grant given away to students with strong grades. This grant is awarded to students who have already been in school for several years, and has an award amount of $4,000.


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    • Ms._Info profile image

      Ms._Info 5 years ago from New Jersey

      I've been out of school for quite some time now so a lot of this is new to me. My niece who is a high school senior just received a few acceptance letters. I will be sure to share this info with her.

    • SolveMyMaze profile image

      SolveMyMaze 5 years ago

      Great Hub! With the ways things are just now, having a good education behind you is a great investment. Sadly not many people can afford this. However, with these great grants, it means that those less well off would be able too.

    • TinaAtHome profile image

      TinaAtHome 5 years ago from California

      Very informative, thanks for sharing.

    • Learning in Life profile image

      Megan Sisko 5 years ago from SW Florida

      I've been in school for a looooong time and I never knew about the SMART grant. I will have to check that out for this next school year. Thanks for posting.