Grants can offer an excellent means of financing a college or university education because unlike loans, they do not have to be repaid. There is however a process you must go through to apply for a grant(s).
The main sources of grants for college come from the federal government and state governments. The largest college grant program happens to be the Federal Pell Grant which is based on the financial need of the student. Individuals who wish to apply for the Pell Grant are not subject to any academic eligibility requirements. However recipients of the grant are expected to maintain a satisfactory level of academics as set down by the college or university they are attending.
The federal government is not the only source for college grants. State and local government can be of help, as can private organizations and non-profit or community organizations. Many colleges and universities also offer grants to help with funding for higher education.
Once you know the grant options that are available to you the next thing you need to know is how to apply for a grant. The process for applying for non-federal grants is not the same as it is for applying for federal grants. It is important to read through the directions for every grant application. Make sure you understand everything that is being required of you before you start filling it out.
When you are applying for a grant that is non-federal then the application process may not be the same for every grant you apply for. Take the time to become familiar with what is expected of you and what the application deadline is. If need be speak to a contact person to ensure that you have all of the right information required to fill out the grant application. If an error or worse, errors are made on your application form this can slow down the process and it may take you longer to find out if you have been approved for the grant. If you would like to apply for a federal grant then there is only one application to fill out which makes it easier. The application is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (also known simply as FAFSA).
When it comes to applying for a grant from the federal government the FAFSA form can be completed and then filed in one of three ways. You can go to the web and fill out the application online and then submit it that way. The second option is to download the form and submit the PDF form from the government website. The third and final way to file this application for a federal grant is to request that a paper application be sent to you. Once you have the application you can then fill it out and then send it back through postal mail to the address that is provided on the form.
To get a copy of the FAFSA you can go online and print it out . You can also call the toll-free number at (800) 4-FED-AID to be sent an application. You can also drop by the financial aid office at your college to obtain a copy.
If you decide that you would like to fill out the FAFSA application online then you will need to obtain a student aid personal identification number (PIN). You can get a PIN by going here. Having a PIN makes it possible for you to make corrections or changes to your online application. It alls allows you to sign the application in an electronic manner.
Due to the fact that grant money does not have to be paid back it is so important that you are thorough when it comes to filling out the application form. Read everything carefully and follow the instructions properly!