If you are considering a student loan for a young person who is planning to go to college soon, you may want to think about grants instead. Grants for students are gifts that do not have to be paid back, unlike student loans. No interest continues to accrue over the years, creating an even bigger debt. If you qualify for a grant, you can receive this money to use for college tuition or other expenses as you need it.
Grants, unlike loans, have a bit less flexibility on how you can use the money since they are federal grants that are allocated for a specific purpose. However, this is a great way to pay for basic tuition, books, and major college expenses.
Students may qualify for a grant based on their choice of career path or several other criteria. Below is a partial list of gifts that might be worth looking into.
Pell Grants are grants that students can use to fund basic college expenses. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and was started by former President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 under the Education Act of 1965.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
The Academic Competitiveness Grant is a grant that is often offered in conjunction with the National SMART Grant. Both are intended to fill the need for math and science teachers in public schools. These grants are intended to encourage more focus on the math and sciences while students are still in high school so that they can better prepare for a career in these fields after graduation from college.
To start the process of applying for an Academic Competitiveness Grant, start by filling out the application. Learn more about how to apply for federal grants here.
There are many other federal grants that students may qualify for. Grants for college students are usually based on the field that a student chooses to go into as well as being able to demonstrate a need for the monies and to illustrate how the student will contribute to the field in a significant way.