Nowadays, there’s no question that college is becoming more and more expensive each year. This makes it tougher every year for students to get into their dream college, not because of their grades or college applications, but because they simply cannot afford it. While students have the option of FAFSA, which helps quite a bit, it usually isn’t enough to cover all of the expenses. What other form of aid can students turn to? You’ve guessed it, grants and scholarships!

  • What is a Scholarship?

Scholarships are a form of gift aid, financial aid that does not need to be paid back. They are awarded to students who have met a particular set of requirements or achievements. Students who have excellent athletic capacity can be given a scholarship to a college and join their sports team. Similarly, some students who excel in academics are also awarded scholarships to prestigious schools around the nation. This aid, however, does come with certain requirements that you must follow in order to continue receiving aid, such as keeping your GPA above a certain point.

  • What is a Grant?

A grant, on the other hand, is not based on your academic or athletic abilities. Instead, you’re awarded this gift aid based on your financial situation. Grants are generally geared towards undergraduate students. In some cases, they are also given based on a student’s cost of attendance or enrollment status.

  • Where Does Gift Aid Come From?

Scholarships and grants typically come from three sources: the government, colleges, and private organization. The largest source of grants comes from the federal government, while state governments award gift aid for students who live and go to school in their state. Colleges tend to be quite a bit strict with their requirements regarding scholarships awarded to academically or athletically inclined students. With that said, colleges award gift aid on a needs basis, as well. Private organizations, such as a labor union or religious institution award scholarships. These scholarships are known as private or outside scholarships.

  • How Can I Apply For Gift Aid?

Making sure you have your FAFSA application completed is one way students can receive some gift aid from the government. In regards to college gift aid, your FAFSA application should suffice to get you gift aid, but there are some gift aids that have their own form that need to be filled out. Some clubs on college campuses have grant applications that you can look into, too. As for outside or private scholarships, those require their own application process. You should speak to a school counselor to help find outside scholarships that fit your needs and how to approach the application process for each gift aid.