Let us understand first, what are Grants?
Out of many options, one of the ways to decrease your burden on student loan payment is grants. Grants are basically benefits given by the government to students under special consideration. You need to be eligible for the particular grants which are awarded by the state or the federal government.
Lots of grants are linked to your employer. If you go in some certain field you might receive grants to pay off your student loans. Usually, these grants act as loan forgiveness programs. Unlike other programs, grants are “free” money. Once your loans are paid you have no further debts thanks to Grant programs.
Types of Grants
When you're applying for FAFSA at that point you should look for grant options. The amount you receive from grants you can use that to pay off your cost of school. However, there are other grants called post-graduation financial aid. they are awarded to students who are struggling to pay off their student loans.
Most of the postgraduate grants are for the people who are engaged in a specific field. Both state and federal government offers them. Below you will find different types of grants.
Federal Pell Grant
Undergraduate students who are in need of financial aid to finish their bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. If you are enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program you may also receive a federal Pell grant.
By any chance, a student's parents died in Iraq or Afghanistan or in the line of duty as a public safety officer than they are eligible for a larger pell grant Limited period of Pell grant is 12 semesters or the equivalent. The amount you may be awarded is up to $6195 for the year 2019-20.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
This grand is also awarded to the student are going through their undergraduate and they have exceptional financial need to get their degree. the student who has Federal Pell Grant will be prior above all the students to receive this grant.
Funds are limited due to the availability at the school so the student needs to submit the application before the deadline. It's not necessary that all the school participates in the FSEOG program.
You might receive up to $4,000 a year under this grant.
Teacher Education Assistance For College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
The student going under postbaccalaureate, under graduation or graduation and who are willing to teach in a high needed field at the elementary or secondary school are eligible for this grant.
Serving time in this field is a minimum of four years as a full-time teacher in a high-need field of education. If you fail to complete the teaching service commitments your grant will be converted into the unsubsidized loan and you will need to repay that.
You can receive up to $3,752.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
The student whose parents who were engaged in armed forces and died as a result of performing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the event of 9/11. The student should be ineligible for federal Pell grant due to having less requirement of educational finance.
Your age should be below 24 or in other cases, you should be enrolled part-time at a college or career school at the time of your parent’s or guardian's death.
Up to $5,717.11 for grants first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2018, and before Oct. 1, 2019.
North Dakota Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Student Loan Grant.
Under North Dakota’s STEM Occupations Loan Forgiveness Program is available for the student who is working in a STEM-related career in North Dakota. If you’re eligible you can get up to $6,000 per year to work in a STEM field in the state.
Contraception and Infertility Research Loan Repayment Program
The Federal Government motivates students to work in the area of reproductive research. The U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services offers student loan repayment incentives.
An applicant will receive $35,000 a year under the contraception and infertility research repayment program. This relieves your stress towards student loan repayment.
You need to commit yourself to for two years and conduct researching contraception and infertility issues.
John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program
You may be eligible for the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program if you are working as a public defender or prosecutor. Under this program, you can receive $10,000 a year for up to six years to pay off your student loans.
You need work as a public defender or state prosecutor for at least three years.
National Institute of Mental Health Loan Repayment Program
If you have received a degree in healthcare education and currently, you’re working under the same field and you’re planning to pursue a career in behavioral, social or clinical research with a non-profit organization that you can receive grants to pay off your student loan.
You can receive up to $35000 per year, which you can be used to pay your student loan debts.
New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program,
The student from New York who wants to pursue their career in farming may receive up to $10000 under this program for five years. Candidate should have received a degree from New York college or university and agree to operate a farm in New York for at least five years.
Nurse Corps Repayment Program
The Health Resource and services administration offers grants to nurses to pay off their outstanding student loans. A nurse can get 85% of their outstanding loans amount. You need to be a licensed registered nurse, a nurse practitioner or a nursing faculty member with a nursing degree.
Applicant should be working in either a healthcare facility with a critical shortage or at an accredited school or nursing.
Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program.
if you’re a dentist or a physician ready to undertake work in underserved areas of Pennsylvania, you will be rewarded till $100,000 to repay your student loans.
You need to make a commitment to provide service under the norms which are proposed by Pennsylvania’s healthcare grant.
The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program
In exchange for three years of paid work in an underserved area as a veterinarian, you will receive up to $75,000 total under NIFA. You must also have an accredited degree in veterinary medicine and carry at least $15,000 in loan debt.
Repayment of Grants
Student loans are a burden for you, not grants. You don’t have to repay them. However, you need to keep the standards of their regulations otherwise you will lose the grant amount or you might have to pay back some of the grant money which you already had.
There are other student loan repayment programs. Grants are not for all the students. Repayment is typically limited for certain field and only offered in particular areas. Students who cant enjoy the benefit of different grants, they don’t need to worry. There are other various ways you can manage your debts. Go through some programs mentioned below.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
If you are working for the government or a non-profit and they are not able to provide grants for student loans. You may qualify under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If you serve for 10 years than under PSLF the government forgives the remaining balance.
You need to make qualifying payments in these years. Under this program discharged balance is not taxable as income which helps you to save more.
These grants are basically offered to the talented students who demonstrate excellent skills in sports, music, theatre, painting, sculpture, dance, math, science, medicine, photography, videography, and any number of other areas. These are merit-based or need-based grants for students.
Some grants are limited to some organization while others are open to anyone.
The Minnesota State University at Mankato awards grants to the high school seniors who are interested in music, theatre, creative writing, communication and diversity awareness.
Rhode Island College also offers talent-based student grants for categories like dance, music, film studies, theatre art, and communication.
Athletic scholarships are given in the University of Hartford. Candidate should participate in NCAA Division I Division athletics in the areas of baseball basketball gold lacrosse soccer or tennis and basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball tennis track, and field or volleyball (for women).
The Gertrude Whitney Conner Scholarship gives up to $10,000 to incoming MFA students at the new york studio school of drawing painting and sculpture. The student needs to justify their artistic ability and financial need.
Tips on Applying for Student Grants
Citizenship status: U.S Citizen Attending American college or university.
Education requirement: undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate.
Type of college: public, private, non-profit, law school, medical school, film school, community college, four-year institution, vocational or trade school.
Education institute location: state or region, college-specific.
Class: freshman, sophomore, junior, senior.
Justified Financial need: need-based or merit-based, low-income only.
Future work interest: nursing, childcare, education, visual artist, zoologist, firefighters, etc.
Current employer: grants and scholarships for a current employee as well as an employee or retiree’s children, unemployed individuals, business owners.
Association membership: grants and scholarships for members and/or their children and spouses.
Grants for left-handed people, vegetarians, online students, etc.
Match yourself to the eligibility requirements.
Required Grade Point average.
College eligibility for grants.
Be Clever With Your Search
There are grants which might be indirectly connected to your selected field. For an eg. If you are applying for English majors then you can search for related work like English writing editing publishing poetry authors novels and other relevant topics.
If you apply early you will get a good chance to receive a grant. Grants funds are usually limited so they are offered on a first come first serve basis.
Give all the requested information like transcripts, membership in a particular tribe, group or association, paper applications and letter of recommendations.
"Purpose of Money"
your “purpose of money” should be justified in the right way. Justify your tuition and book expenses if you want to apply for need-based grants. For project-based grants present clear problem statements, objectives, method and evaluation guidelines. You cannot justify your personal expense with your college expenses.
If you write essays and documents in formal language your chances of receiving grants will grow. Anyday you personal story justifying your financial need will be cherry on top.
Always take the second opinion, get the guidance of trusted family member, friend or advisor to look at your application. At the final submission, you should at least get seven reviews don’t your application.
There are many options in grants from which you can pay off your student loans. You can do more research on student grants and select the right option. If you're eligible for a particular grant then you can lower you’re your debt load. Check if your field or state offer any grants to repay your loans.
Do Grants Have to be Paid Back?
Grants don’t act like loans, it usually called “gift aid”. You do not have to pay it back. Grants will never cover your 100% loan.
What happens if you get a Pell Grant and drop out?
If you drop out, you need to pay back the portion of their federal aid funds to Pell grant. Consider your financial cost first then take any further decision.
Are grants loans?
No, grants are not loans Loans need to be repaid where grants do not require repayment. Grants are usually awarded by government departments, trust or corporations.
Do you have to pay taxes on grant money?
If you don’t use your Pell Grant Money on your qualified education expensed it will be considered as income on your tax returns. Your education expenses include tuition and fee payments, and the book, supplies, and equipment occurred on your education.
Do I qualify for any grants?
First Step you need take is to fill and submit FAFSA. This will give an overview of your financial requirement. It will be examined by the colleges you apply.
How can I get a free grant?
Visit Official Government website, grant.gov. find the relevant grant form and fill it. The website has information on more than 1000 grant programs provided by the government to help state and organizations.
What kinds of federal grants are available?
Mainly Four types of grants,
Federal Pell Grants.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.
What grant money can be used for?
Usually, it will be used for tuition and fees, books, supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. It also covers living expenses such as room and board. This is applicable to All federal student aid and Pell grants.
Can I use leftover Pell Grant money?
Pell grants are usually given to college which you are attending, however, if any amount is left from the grant you will receive the remaining.
Does Income-Based Repayment affect credit?
You can have a high score on credit though you have opted for income-based repayment program. However, you need to pay your credit cards/loans on time to keep a good credit score.
I am pursuing my education as a nurse, can get any grants if I want to work in a similar field?
After you complete your education and receive your license you can enjoy the benefit of the Nurse Corps Repayment Program. However, you need to work under the healthcare facility with a critical shortage or at an accredited school or nursing for a given period.
My Father died during Iraq and Afghanistan was, am I eligible for Iraq and Afghanistan service Grant?
You’re eligible to apply for Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. You need to be below 24 and should have been enrolled part-time at a college or career school at the time of your father’s death.