Take a look at the figures. The US Department of Education gives out to millions of students all over the US the unbelievable sum of $67 billion every year by way of free college grants, loans and campus-based aid. What exactly are free college grants? These are grants given to students who cannot afford to pay for a good education. They have no money to pay for a college education which would put them in a position to earn a lot of money. That’s the irony of it all! However, this is the basis on which free college grants are given. They really are for the students who are serious about doing well and then earning well.
One example of free college grants is Federal Pell Grants. The only eligibility is financial need. These are not like loans because they do not need to be paid back. The amounts that are available to be given out vary from year to year. This is because these grants depend on Congress. In 2000-2001, it reached a peak of $3,300.00. How much a student gets will depend on his part-time or full-time status, the costs to attend that particular school and whether he is going to do the full academic year or not.
Another program that falls under the purview of free college grants is the campus-based aid programs. Here, a student can get a grant from the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), the Federal Work-Study (FWS) and the Federal Perkins Loans programs. These can be administered by the financial aid offices at each school directly. The funds for these programs are sent to the school and the school uses its judgment to distribute it among the students who need it.
How do you know if you are eligible for free college grants? Well, first of all, you have to qualify for financial aid. Then, you will have to hold a high school diploma or a GED (General Education Development) certificate. If you do not have either of these, you will have to pass a test of an equivalent level which is approved by the US Department of Education. Of course, you will be working towards your certificate or degree and will have to show proof that you are enrolled in a program that is eligible and make sure you maintain good grades while you are studying. You will have to have a valid Social Security Number and be either a U.S. citizen or a qualified non-citizen. You also have to be registered with the Selective Service.
You will not be eligible for free college grants if you have been involved in the possession or sale of drugs. In that case, you could still apply for federal student aid because maybe you will get other nonfederal or private free college grants. You can use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in order to apply for free college grants, campus-based student aid programs and all loans. If you’d like more information, you could visit their web site (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) which guides you through your application process online. Remember if you have the inclination, the government has the desire and the means to help you get that degree!