HOW TO FIND GRANTS TO PAY FOR COLLEGE

While scholarships are awarded on stature and need, grants are primarily awarded based on need. For most free grants grades are not a determining factor. College tuition can be very challenging , and obtaining free money for college is the most sought after form of financial aid.

 Both scholarships and grants for college are free money to help you pay for your education. Unlike student loans you don’t have to pay back grants or scholarships, except under certain circumstances, like withdrawing early from a program or a change in your enrollment status.

 There are merit-based college grants, too. Merit-based grants are awarded to students who demonstrate high levels of academic achievement, a commitment to community service, or excellent leadership skills. To find merit-based grants for college, start by doing an online search for college grants in your home state.

Quick Links

  • Fill Out The FAFSA
  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • State Grant Options
  • Federal Grant Options
  • International Grant Options
  • Grants From Your School
  • Military Scholarships
  • Online Scholarships
  • Athletic Scholarships
  • International Scholarships
  • ROTC Scholarships
  • Health Profession Scholarships
  • Medical Professional Scholarships
  • Union Plus Scholarships
  • Minority Scholarships
  • Scholarships by Grade Level

The financial aid process is daunting, especially when going through the process without help from a reliable source. Fortunately, we are here to help.Because admission rates are so low, you can’t just have  straight A’s, perfect or near-perfect SAT or ACT scores. You are going to need something that makes you stand out. 

THE PROCESS

  • The Initial Phone Call 

During the initial phone call, the Admissions/Enrollment representative may want to schedule an interview time to speak with you. Otherwise, they may want to discuss, selecting the right degree program for your career and life goals, your schedule and any time or life constraints for going back to school.

When you speak with the Admissions representatives from each school, they should provide you with specific information regarding their school and its offerings. It’s a good idea to ask the same questions so you can make accurate comparisons.

  • Ask Questions

What type of accreditation do you hold?

Schools may hold regional or national accreditations from various private accrediting agencies. Accreditations help to ensure that the degree earned matches a certain industry standard for level of knowledge and proficiency obtained.

Most employers hire only graduates of accredited institutions and most schools will accept as graduate students only those with undergraduate degrees from accredited universities or colleges.

A good place to start a search for an accredited institution is provided by the U.S. Department of Education at the link below http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/

2. Do you offer any school scholarships or grants? Title IV funding (government financial aid)? Help with private loans?

Some schools may offer their own financial aid packages to qualifying students. Most schools are eligible to participate in state and/or federal aid programs. Private loans may be a good alternative if you are not eligible for federal or state aid. Financial aid may be available to those who quality. For questions on how to pay for your secondary schooling, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s “Do You Need Money For College? Guide” at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/2019-20-do-you-need-money.pdf

3. Do you accept transfer credits from school? (if you have any to transfer)

The rules vary from state to state, and from school to school – something to think about if you plan to move about. This is also a major advantage of online degree programs, however, as you are only geographically limited by the availability of an internet connection, but make sure to check each school’s transfer policy.

4. Do you offer any credit for life experience?

Some programs may have the means to assess and convert your life experience – including military experience, professional certifications, and work experience – to college credit. These means may include standardized tests or credits from other institutions. Credit policies and the amount of credit allowed vary by school. Information specifically about converting military experience into college credits may be found at: https://www.military.com/education/timesaving-programs/timesaving-programs– overview.html

5.  Do you accept CLEP transfer credits?
College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits are offered by the College Board, usually for the types of courses a student would attend in his or her first two years of classes, and can qualify you for anywhere from 3 to 12 college credits per exam.

Exams are offered in a variety of subjects, including Composition and Literature, Foreign Languages, History and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, and Business. Each exam is 90 minutes in length, with primarily multiple-choice questions, and generally covers one college course worth of material, as determined by your specific school or program.

This means that with a passing grade you may earn college credits you can use toward meeting your program’s degree requirements.

The College Board recommends that “you consult a textbook for the course at your college that is comparable to the exam you plan to take” in preparation for the test. More information about the CLEP program is available at the College Board website at: https://clep.collegeboard.org/about-clep

6. How long will it take to complete your program?
Schools disclose information about the expected time to complete the program, and some may have policies concerning the total length of attendance allowed before earning a degree. The total number of credits earned per course can vary based on whether your school operates on a quarterly or semester system. Talk to your academic advisor about the typeof schedule used at your school, and how it will affect scheduling your classes to fit your degree plan.

7. What are your technology requirements?

While most programs will accommodate a variety of operating systems and platforms, make sure that you can afford any necessary hardware or software upgrades, or even a new computer if necessary. Inquire about the availability of a technology aid package toward the purchase of a computer for distance learning or online students.

8. Do you have a career services department?
Many schools now offer employment services for graduates of their degree programs. Some programs are also affiliated with professional organizations which may offer graduate employment services within their field or fields of expertise.

9. Do you have academic advisors?
Academic advisors can be one of your greatest assets, especially in an online degree program. They can help you map out your degree path in order to maximize your educational value.

10. Do you offer technical support?
Whether available directly from the school, or from the third-party vendor of the interface application, tech support is vital for online learning success.

11. Are books included in my tuition?

Some schools offer books as part of the total tuition cost, some provide the necessary funds for you to purchase the books yourself, and others require you to buy books on your own. You may also need ancillary materials like optional study guides or suggested readings. Also, while many on-campus programs provide easy access to the school bookstore, keep in mind that you may need to find your textbooks at a local bookstore, or purchase them online, which means you should allow for search/delivery times.

12. How does your program work?
Don’t be afraid to ask the seemingly simple questions. Getting a good idea of the basics of a degree program is essential in choosing the one that is right for you. Ask if there is a guided tour or tutorial of the school’s interface available for you to “test drive.”

13. What is the time investment associated with this program on a weekly basis?

The time investment varies by the number of credit hours attempted per semester, but a general rule for secondary education institutions is that for every one hour spent in class (in person or online), a student can expect to spend two to three hours outside of class time reading, studying, working on assignments, and participating in chats, discussion boards, etc. For a typical semester, students can expect to spend anywhere from 36 to 48 hours per week on school.

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