Part 1: Free Money for Your College Education and Where to Find it!

There are many decisions that you have to make when considering attending a college or university. Money is usually one of the biggest actors in this process, and it is often a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be. On average across all school types, 20 percent of college students do not apply for any kind of financial aid, while 30 percent did not apply for federal student aid. That leaves thousands of free, unclaimed money for individuals to take advantage of.

Most attend a college or university to further their education and increase their future earning potential, but with tuition and fees steadily increasing yearly and budget shortfalls, the dream of earning a degree may seem unachievable to some. However, you should not be discouraged! There are various chances to get free money through grants and scholarships to go towards paying for your education. You must be willing to look, and pursue the ones most applicable. In our 3-part series, “Free Money for College and Where to Find It” we will help you uncover the opportunities out there.

First there are Federal Grants. The Federal Student Aid website defines a grant as “financial aid, often based on financial need, that does not need to be repaid”.

There are four types of federal grants available, and those are:

  • Federal Pell Grants –  amount of up to $5,815 available per year usually awarded only to undergraduate students. Amount awarded is dependent upon financial need, cost of attendance, full or part-time student status and intended length of time enrolled.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) – this is a need-based grant directly administered by the financial aid office at participating schools, and the amount awarded can be from $100 to $4,000 a year
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants – provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching.
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants – a grant that is specifically for those who’ve lost a parent or guardian as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan.

If you are interested in any of these grants, or any federal student aid, you must start by completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Stay Tuned for Part 2 where we discuss state and other miscellaneous grants that could be available to you!

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