Getting an education is one of the great experiences of life. Study prepares a student to move forward confidently, opens the mind to the wider world and gives them the tools to participate more fully in it. No matter what level of education the student is starting from, and whatever the future goal, lack of money does not have to stand in the way – thanks to student grant programs. From the nationally known government grants to obscure, smaller grants from local community associations – grants are really everywhere. The hard part can be finding the right ones.
Check with the School
See a school advisor early in the game. They can cut through the chaff and point out grant programs that fit a given student's situation, background and goals. These advisors are also familiar with grant application and selection processes and can tell you what your chances are, and the best way to impress the grantor. This is invaluable knowledge that will save lots of time and trouble. The Federal Student Aid application should be filled out right away as well to see what type of funding package may be available.
Do Some Homework
the school is a wealth of information but they don't know it all. Potential grants can be found online by searching terms that describe the student's background and area of interest, plus 'grant' or 'scholarship'. No detail is insignificant, for instance, there are grants specifically for single parents returning to college to finish their degree. Whatever the student's age range or ethnicity, there is sure to be a student grant program out there aimed at that particular group. Check to be sure you fit all the qualifications and carefully research the grantors to be sure they are legitimate, before applying or giving any personal information.
Pass the Tests
It will take some time to gather and create all the materials needed for a successful student grant program application. Make sure to put all deadline dates on a calendar and start very early on any pre-work needed. Documents like transcripts or a copy of birth certificate and financial records may take a while to assemble. Choose former instructors and employers who will take time to write excellent character reference and recommendation letters. The student should pay utmost attention to the personal essay and / or interview. Any volunteer work should be highlighted on the application or the personal interview, since activities like this show initiative and commitment.
Students should apply for as many grants as they qualify for, as competition may be stiff. Many students will use a variety of funding combining grants, loans and possibly part time work, to get through school. Searching out student grant programs requires initiative and follow-through, coincidentally some of the same qualities that make for a successful college career. Have a search around this website for some in depth information on the various grants that are available as well as other educational funding methods.