A college or postgraduate degree often comes with a glaring price tag. Undoubtedly, many students get blinded by the numbers and begin planning their education funds without a clear vision.

Funding your education might mean breaking the piggy bank or taking out huge loans from a lender. But don’t ignore the power of scholarships and grants. 

Scholarships and grants are a fantastic way to pay for your college without worrying about being knee-deep in debt. If you’ve demonstrated academic excellence and talent in school, consider applying for scholarships and grants.

scholarships and grants for college students

Scholarships vs. Grants

It’s easy to interchange the two terms but they’re slightly different. Scholarships are usually merit-based. Grants are mostly need-based. 

Merit-based evaluates your academic ability. Need-based assesses your financial condition. 

Finding Scholarships and Grants

Landing the right scholarship or grant requires you to look at the right sources. Some of these sources are the government, private institutions or organizations, and your university.

Most state governments offer financial aid to students who will attend a university located in their state. Private scholarships are usually offered by private groups, foundations, or non-profit organizations. 

Scholarships granted by your university often have more rigid requirements. These scholarships are granted by the university or by individuals and groups that are affiliated with your university.

When searching for the right scholarship for you, you can narrow down your options into your location, program major, ethnicity, gender, and university. 

A lot of scholarships are targeted toward a specific group of people. For example, a scholarship grant may be designed for students with disabilities, for female students, and even for students who are vegetarians. 

You can filter these results with websites like Student Scholarship Search, Chegg, and Fastweb.  

How Much You Can Get From Scholarships and Grants

In the United States, you can receive grants from the federal government. There are two major grants under federal aid: the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

According to Education Data, the Pell Grant offers the highest maximum grant of $6,345 per year. The full grant has been adjusted to $5,920 and is usually granted to students who have an annual household income of less than $60,000. The FSEOG offers a grant of $1,000 -$4,000 per year. 

Private scholarships and grants are usually at $4,000 or less and are only awarded once a year. The odds of getting a private scholarship is 1 in 8, but for more competitive and well-known scholarships, the odds are 1 in 500. 

Other specialty grants, including textbook grants, can range from $500-$1,000 annually. 

Multiple Scholarships

In general, you’re allowed to receive more than one scholarship. However, some scholarship programs do not allow the student to receive any other scholarship. This term is often stated in the scholarship’s eligibility criteria.

Apply to as many scholarships as you can as soon as possible. Just make sure that you apply for scholarships where you meet the criteria, and suit your needs as a student.

Planning your college fund through scholarships and grants is possible. Make sure you apply for grants and scholarships that meet your interests. Learn more about these topics through our articles here on MSM Unify.

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