Grants and Scholarships

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Financial aid may be available if you qualify

Grants and scholarships are a great way to fund your higher education because they are need-based and don’t require repayment. So what’s the difference between a grant and a scholarship?

Grants: these are provided by non-profit organizations like the federal and state governments, schools and private organizations, and are also often tax-exempt. These include the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and are generally awarded to those who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree and who demonstrate exceptional financial need.

Review our Federal Student Aid Summary to familiarize yourself with the various options that may be available to you. If you are interested in applying for a grant or any federal student aid, you must first submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Scholarships: these are generally merit-based financial awards given in honor of academic achievement, need, area of study or other criteria as determined by the awarding body. Unlike grants, scholarships come from a greater variety of sources, including schools, individual university departments, nonprofits, corporations and many more. Additionally, many scholarships require the maintenance of a specific grade point average or enrollment in a particular program of study.

Numerous scholarship applications are also available online. These large databases are able to send scholarships out monthly, weekly, or even daily. For more scholarship information, visit the following sites:

FastWeb
Sallie Mae
College Scholarships
College Connection Scholarships

Also, remember the important tips below when applying for scholarships:

  • Apply as early as possible.
  • When writing an essay, always remember who your audience is.
  • Be sure to cover all criteria the essay requires of you; be open, honest, and follow instructions precisely.
  • Double-check your spelling and grammar.
  • When mailing a scholarship application, send it certified and request a receipt to ensure it is received.