It doesn’t matter if you are just starting to think about paying for your education or have almost completed your schooling, there is a good chance that you have heard a lot of misinformation surrounding education grants. In most cases, a little common sense can go a long way, but sometimes even that is not enough. Here is a quick look at some of the most common questions surrounding education grants and the myths that go with them.
Myth or Fact – There are Billions of Dollars in Education Grants Available
Fact. It is true that there are billions of dollars in grant money sent into the education system every year. At the same time, you shouldn’t start applying for grants thinking that you will get your tuition covered without much effort on your part. In many cases, you may not even qualify for the grant. The key is doing the research needed to find the right grants to apply for. There are billions of dollars worth of grants, but you likely don’t qualify for much of it.
Myth of Fact – Education Grants Are Like Free Money
Both. Education grants are like free money in the sense that you don’t have to pay it back, however it is important not to get the wrong idea. First, finding and applying to grants can be a very time consuming process and there is no guarantee that you will even receive one. Second, you normally have to meet a very specific set of qualifications in order to even be considered. In most cases, grants are awarded based upon a need, however this isn’t always the case.
Myth or Fact – Grants Are Solely Based on Income or Ethnicity
Myth. While there are some grants that have very specific restrictions based on income or ethnicity, this isn’t always the case. Federal grants are based on need (financial situation) whereas grants from foundations or companies tend to have their own criteria. Normally it will be based on a past experience, family, or future focus. There will always be some type of restriction, however it is impossible to assume that you will or won’t qualify.
Myth or Fact – If You Don’t Qualify For the Pell Grant, Then You Are Out of Luck
Myth. This myth stems from the fact that you will normally have to include your FAFSA whenever you apply for a grant, regardless of the source. While it may play some role over whether you qualify or not. It could also be a determining factor if two applicants are equal in every other way.
In the end, there are only a handful of facts that you need to know. First, you don’t have to pay back any grant money that you are given. Second, there are a variety of different variables that could determine whether or not you qualify. Third, there are a variety of different sources of grants both public and private, so do your research to find as many as possible. Finally, while it does take time and effort to apply for them, getting just one small grant can make a big difference.