College Grant Money
It costs a lot to get a proper education. That’s why government is doing everything it can to help those students in need. By providing them with various student aids from jobs to scholarships and college grant money, government is in effect giving these students a chance to get the education they deserve. But what is grant money? And how is it different from student loans and scholarships?
College grant money is actually a type of student aid that is awarded to deserving individuals. The Federal Government, nonprofit civic groups, and private institutions may offer these moneys to students usually based on economic need.
But contrary to what some people think, college grant money is actually different from a student loan. One difference is that when you have qualified for a grant, it means you no longer have to pay back the money you receive. On the other hand, when you apply for a student loan, it means you are obliged to repay the money within a certain specified period, depending on what has been agreed upon between you and your loan provider. Because of that, parents and students alike prefer college grant money to student loan.
To calculate the amount of college grant money you receive, most colleges and grant programs factor in your parents’ income plus the average cost of college. The result is then a basic estimate of how much money you ought to receive from your grant.
Most college grant money programs fix a certain amount which they then send to the colleges and universities where the grant is offered. A student with a grant may either receive the money in checks via posted mail or the college would automatically credit the amount to the student’s account.
If you want to be considered for federal financial assistance and receive college grant money, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA. The quickest way to do this is online at the FAFSA.ed.gov website. The FAFSA can only be filed no earlier than January 1st of the year you will be attending.
However, be wary of the dates on which you will be filing for college grant money. Sometimes, the deadlines announced by the federal student aid programs and your college of choice may differ. Just to be safe, file your application way before any of the dates.
Besides the FAFSA, there may still be other forms you will need to submit. If you are an incoming freshman, you may also need to complete the CSS Profile Application which is required in many private colleges. Your CSS profile will give administrators a broader set of data from which to derive your eligibility for institutional need-based assistance. Generally, the Profile application becomes available in the middle of October. You can register and apply online at CollegeBoard.org.
With the use of the processed data from either the FAFSA or the CSS Profile, colleges determine your eligibility for college grant money by using your household, demographic, and financial data as basis.
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