Part 2: Free Money for Your College Education and Where to Find it!

Grants are a great way to pay for your college education since they do not have to be repaid, and there are many more different types that are offered in addition to the commonly known Federal Grants that are available.

Did you know that there are grants that can be awarded to you just for your gender or the state in which you live? That’s right. When searching for grants online, it may be more efficient to search for grants specific to you. There are hundreds to choose from, but you might have a better chance of being awarded by going after those with precise criteria being that it narrows the number of applicants that you would be up against.

There are numerous grants available for those pursuing certain career paths, especially those in high need, like nursing and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. There are also grants focused on underrepresented groups, like minorities and those with disabilities.

Below are a few different grant types with websites to help you with your search:

Course, degree and career specific grants – based on the degree or field of study –  Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers scholarships that assist high school, undergraduate and graduate students

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs – Powered by the U.S. Department of State, this website allows individuals to get funding to study abroad

Student-type – depends on factors such as gender, ethnicity, and disability status – American Association of University Women, whose focus is on women and girls, provides funding for their professional and academic careers – website that lists various grant and scholarship opportunities for those with disabilities, in addition to individuals with medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, lupus, and cancer

State Based – eligibility determined by state of residence, or the state in which one plans to pursue their education – Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor which allows you to search for thousands of scholarship, fellowships and grants. Narrow search by keyword, and filter by location, etc. – List of all states with information on grants and scholarships offered and award amounts

Being that most grants are need-based, if searching for funds based on merit, scholarships may be the best way to go. Scholarships, just like grants, do not have to be repaid.

Regardless of your gender, income, or career path you plan to follow, there are chances for you to earn money towards your education. Be creative when searching, because you never know what you may come across!

Coming up in Part 3 will be tips and advice to help you increase your chances of finding legitimate opportunities and how to be prepared for the application process.

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