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What state grants should I apply for as a college student?

I am applying for college, and I was considering undergraduate grants funded by the state as my first option for funding. I would, however, like to know what grants I am eligible for to increase my chances of approval.

I am from a low-income family and I will be the first person in my family to have a shot at college. However, without government bursaries, I don’t think I will be able to raise my fees. What state grants can I try?

Carlton Burgess

in Student Loans

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Ralph Lopez on May 31, 2018

American universities, especially the top-tier institutions, are some of the most expensive places to seek higher education in the world.

Well, with a little digging, you will discover that the federal and state governments cater for the bulk of financial support for college students. Such support comes in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans. Requirements for getting an undergraduate grant depends on your state, the type of grant and who is offering it.

Though most students concentrate on exploiting opportunities given by the federal government for college financial support, your state is also an excellent place to search for funding. Each state has the mandate to collect taxes on property hence get finances to support students with college. Some of these grants may be strictly for in-state study while others may fund students studying out of their state of residency.

The first step to applying for financial aid, including grants, is to fill in the FAFSA form. This form aims to help the government know more about you, estimate the cost of your college education and if and how much you can be able to pay. This same form will be used to determine your eligibility for a state grant. The state additionally evaluates a student’s Estimated Family Contribution to gauge if such a student is eligible for the grant.

However, it is important to apply for funding early as some states use first-come-first-served criteria to grant funding. When the money set aside for college assistance is depleted, no more grants are given regardless of need.

It is wise to consult with your state’s financial assistance office to get information on additional documents that may be required and the deadline for submission of FAFSA forms.

Here are the types of State funding to help you establish what grants you are eligible for:

  • Need-based grants: these type of grants are awarded to students who demonstrate a genuine need for financial assistance. They are mostly awarded to students from low-income households.
  • Merit-based grant: awarded to students with high academic achievements.
  • Minority state-funded grant: funds low population and inadequately represented groups of people.
  • Foster care student grant: this government bursary funds children from foster care to ensure they get a chance at college.
  • Severely disadvantaged college student grants: assists financially and socially disadvantaged groups.
  • Students in high-need areas of study: these include fields such as teaching and nursing.
  • Veteran Grants: government grants for people with disabilities. 

Craig Stewart2 years ago

True, state grants are not as known and discussed as federal grants. However, many states have such programs which have assisted hundreds of people to pay for college. Here are a few examples of such programs:

  • The Cal Grant

This grant is awarded on the criteria of academic excellence and genuine financial need. It has helped pay for tuition for many students in colleges within the State of California. It is funded by the State’s Commission on Student aid.

  • Texas Grant

This grant is designed for college students studying in-state and with a demonstrated financial need. However, students also need to show that they are academically motivated to perform well.

  • Pennsylvania Grant

This grant is a state-run program that assists students in the state with tuition fee. The applicant must be enrolled full-time or half-time in any recognized 2-4-year degree course. The grant is open to students doing their first degree. 


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