Don’t let money stop you from getting the education you want or the career goals you aspire to achieve!

One of the most popular forms of financial aid comes in the form of an education grant. Education grants are basically free money that is given to help those in need pay for college. In most cases, these grants are issued by the government, and sometimes by private or nonprofit organizations as well. They serve as a form of financial aid that never has to be paid back. These grants are commonly awarded based on the individual’s unique situation in comparison to scholarships which are traditionally awarded based on the merit of the individual.

Top Federal Grant Programs For Individuals

The U.S. Department of Education has several different federal grants that are available for students. It’s detrimental to research the grants available to you in order to make an educated decision about which option is best for you.

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is for undergraduate students who can prove that they require financial assistance. The amount of the grant is determined by the student’s level of need, the cost of tuition, and whether or not the student is attending college part-time or full-time. As of January 2018, the maximum amount that can be awarded was $5,920.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Students who have the most financial need are eligible for the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant. This grant is administered by the financial aid office at participating schools. Students who qualify can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, and the earlier a student applies the better their chances are of receiving the grant.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH)

This grant is slightly different from most other federal grants because it requires that the student enrolls in specific classes and while pursuing a specific career for the grant to remain non-repayable. If all requirements are met, a student can receive up to $4,000 if they plan to complete coursework and effectively work towards a teaching career.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is awarded to students that had a parent or guardian who served as a member of the U.S. armed forces that perished as a result of military service after September 11, 2001. Students who qualify for this grant can receive up to $5,920 to put towards their schooling.

How To Go About Applying

Grants are generally awarded to individuals who exhibit financial need. Eligible students must apply to learn whether or not they do indeed qualify for assistance. To start the application process for Federal grants a student must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FASFA. The FASFA website provides information that helps students learn more about the process, grants, loans, and work-study funds that may be available to them. This website even has a powerful tool that helps estimate the aid a student can potentially receive, which gives them a leg up on planning accordingly for their future. Students interested in financial assistance through FASFA need to take into consideration that there are deadlines for applying and they should be aware of them.

State and Other Grant Types

There are a few other great options available to students who are interested in securing funds for their education. One of these grants is known as a state grant. The majority of state grants apply only to in-state schools, but some opportunities allow students to use grant funds to pay for out-of-state tuition. Applying can be done in various ways depending on things like your location, but regardless, state grants require completion of the FASFA. It’s wise to always consider state grants first if you need assistance in college funding.

There are several other grants available from specific colleges/universities that are used to attract students to their campuses as well as offer additional funding. There are also cause and career-specific grants made available by universities and private or nonprofit organizations that are contingent on the chosen career path of the student.

Take Note

While it is rare, there are some cases where students must repay the grant money that they received. This could happen when a student withdraws from school prematurely or does not complete an enrollment period. Another time where this can happen is when a student’s enrollment status changes (like from full-time to part-time) but in this case, the total grant amount can oftentimes be reduced. To avoid these unfortunate circumstances, just be aware of the requirements of your grant, make sure to follow them and you’ll be fine.


Scholarships, just like grants, don’t need to be repaid. Scholarships are gifted funds that enable students to fundamentally finance their education. They are offered by varying sources including schools, employers, corporations, individuals, private or nonprofit organizations, religious groups, etc. You can learn more about scholarships and grants by searching online and looking for ones that may apply to you.