Many people owe their college education and associated livelihood to education grants. One of the most considerable financial outlays incurred during a person’s lifetime is their college education expenses. The cost of pursuing a four year degree in some majors now averages just under $60,000. Educational grants are essentially gifts and do not have to be paid back. They have helped hundreds of thousands of people both entering college for the first time, or those who seek new skills due to the economic downturn. There are many grants available from private foundations, corporate foundations and sponsors, and of course, the federal government. Let’s take a quick look at the basics so as to gain an understanding of the various types of education grants available.
Many private foundations offer both full and partial education grants to get you through college. It is worth noting that most private foundations will only fund the actual cost of the individual courses required to earn a degree inside the major of your choice. The upside to applying to a private foundation for grants for education assistance is two-fold: If you are lucky, you may win more than one grants for school to help cover your classroom expenses. Another advantage is that even in this economy, there is still money available. That’s because so much importance is placed on education and the founders were once in your shoes. Many owe their college education to private granters. A good place to start your search for private foundations that offer education grants are the nonprofit databases FundsNet and GuideStar. Look in the education & literacy grants category and start your research.
Corporate foundations and sponsors are a tried and true stable resource for education grants. Corporate foundations tend to limit their educational financial assistance to specific geographic areas of the country, specialized majors and often carry the most stringent set application guidelines. Moreover, corporations tend to limit their educational financial grants for school help to new high school graduates opposed to older people who may be returning to college to learn new skills for a career change.
Finally, one of the best resources for grants for education is good old Uncle Sam, the federal government. Whether you’re returning to college to complete your undergraduate degree or you are fresh-faced high school graduate, you should always for a Pell grant in addition to applications to private and corporate foundations.
Some of the other little advertised and sparsely circulated college grants funded by Uncle Sam include professions where there are shortages of educationally qualified personnel. Outside of the coveted Pell grant, there are grants for students who have chosen teaching as a career, students who have exceptional abilities in math, science and technology.
You can find more information on these little known grants by accessing the U. S. Government website at Grants.Gov. A few that may be of interest are:
- Academic Competitiveness Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
- Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant
- National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant
As you can see, there are many grants available from many different resources. Between private foundations, corporate foundations and of course, good old Uncle Sam, you may easily be able to fund some if not all of your college experience using educational grants.