College grants are financial aid that doesn’t have to be paid back. Learn more about federal and state grants, how to apply for grants for college, what grants can pay for, and more. Unlike student loans, college grants do not require repayment. College grants are just like scholarships with 1 exception: scholarships may be need-based or merit based, whereas most grants are typically need-based. Students must fill out a FASFA to check their eligibility for federal grant programs.

Some of the more obvious grants available to students come from the national government. These grants allow student who show sufficient economic need to have funding for college. But, the government is not the only place to find grant programs. Grants from the private sector can provide a good amount of aid to students. Grants for college-bound students are supported by a variety of different sources: Federal and State Governments, Colleges and Universities, Public and Private Organizations, Professional Associations.

You can find grants and scholarships, student loans, and work-study programs through Federal Student Aid (FSA) to help pay for college or career school. Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to access them. The base eligibility requirements for federal student aid include: financial need, being a U.S. citizen or an eligible non citizen, remaining in good standing on any federal student loans you have, being in or accepted for an eligible degree or certificate program, maintaining adequate academic progress.

Many grants for college-bound students can be found in the private sector. Corporations and professional associations often offer grants for deserving students who are pursuing degrees in fields closely allied to that business or organization. College grants can also be found through religious organizations, as well as clubs and associations dedicated to community service. These grant programs may have very specific eligibility requirements, but they do offer substantial financial assistance to those students who meet the necessary criteria.

Colleges and universities can also be prime sources for grants. Often, colleges will be given private endowments from individuals and businesses for the purpose of providing financial aid to deserving students. Again, privately endowed grants and scholarships tend to have highly specific eligibility requirements and may target certain portions of the population such as women or minorities. They may also be dedicated to students pursuing degrees in specific fields or disciplines.