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What are some of the most important things I should know about state grants before applying for one?

My parents would really benefit from government bursaries to fund my education. With the state grants, they will be guaranteed that I will complete my undergraduate education without any hassles which will enable them to focus on educating my younger siblings. The only problem with this solution for financing my education is the fact that I do not know what grants I am eligible for or anything else to do with undergraduate grants. This information will help me choose the right grant.

Dana Keller

in Student Loans

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Melissa Norris on February 19, 2018

The rising cost of tuition has left many families no other choice but to rely on grants by the state. According to the Trends in Higher Education in 2016 report made by the College Board, college students between the year 2015 and 2016 got an average of $14, 460 in financial aid. Of this, $8,390 was in form of government bursary. From this report, it is clear that grants covered half of the financial aid given to students in these two years.

However, even with these numbers, a good number of families do not apply for state grants even when they need financial aid. This is primarily because most people do not know the first thing about grants or how to get them. Below are some few facts everyone should know when they are considering applying for grants offered by the state.

  • The process of grant distribution is different in every state

In most cases, students who are applying for government student aid are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid popularly known as FAFSA. This is the only thing that is required to determine who gets financial aid. It mostly requires details of the applicant’s guardians unless he or she is applying for financial aid for grad school. However, in some states, the applicant may be required to fill an additional form apart from the FAFSA. For instance, in the state of Pennsylvania, every applicant is required to fill out the Pennsylvania State Grant Form and submit it.

  • An undergraduate grant normally has an earlier deadline compared to federal student aid

This is one of the most important things you should know. Most states only give a few months for the application process and it is usually on a first come first served basis. Therefore, even if you are a stellar student, you need to submit your application very early so that you do not miss out on the opportunity.

  • The grants are need-based in most states

Most states offer grants to students who have demonstrated financial difficulty in funding their education. They rarely offer grants based on merit. Therefore, if you are looking for a grant, make sure you can prove that you are not able to pay for your education so that you can improve your chances of getting the grant.

On your question about ‘which grants am I eligible for?’ this information can be found on the state’s website where the grant is being offered.

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