If you are just graduating from high school or returning to finish a degree, you are probably considering your plans for the future. Hopefully, those plans involve further education or training in the field of your choice. However, education is very expensive, and you will need to know how to get school grants.
The process of seeking grants and scholarships for college always begins with the first step, which is filling out the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.) This form is the foundation of any financial aid or assistance, either public or private. Although other forms may be required for private grants or scholarships, this form will be the first thing they want to see.
The FAFSA has a number that is referred to as the EFC, or Expected Family Contribution. This is an important figure because it is the measure of how much your family is able to afford for education, and how much financial need you really have. Right off the top, the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant are available based purely on the calculation of financial need.
The Pell Grant is the most widely-used educational funding, and the amounts awarded have recently been increased. There are also government-sponsored scholarships and grants for students entering particular fields, such as Teaching or Math. You may need to do a little research to find what is available for your particular major.
Private grants are available in an almost endless variety of fields. Corporations have grants that are offered, and the financial aid office at your college or guidance office at your high school will have information regarding these opportunities. Your employer may also be a valuable source of assistance with tuition, depending on the type benefit plan you have. Organizations often sponsor scholarships based either on need, talent, or interest. All of these grants require a diligence in meeting deadlines and filling out sometimes lengthy applications.
Finally, the best advice for how to get school grants is to direct you to your financial aid office as quickly and as often as you can go. Besides being an information portal for financial assistance of all types, they can connect you with programs through the college that could help you afford your education. If they know you personally, they have added incentive to assist you in your efforts.