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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Finding Help From Reliable Government Grant Programs

By Chris Channing

Colleges try to get college students on the grant bandwagon so classes are more affordable- yet surprisingly many college students don't even try to obtain them. A grant can actually help quite a bit in relieving the financial strain on college students all without them having to pay a dime of the money back. It'll take some work, but it's time well spent.

The first person to consult is a counselor at one's college. University counselors are adept in finding need-based scholarships, loans, and of course government grants. A counselor will point a student in the right direction in getting all the required information to apply, and as students find out it's quite a bit at that. Knowing test scores, income, tax information, job information, and sometimes even providing a persuasive essay may be required for some types of grants. Some will be more tough to obtain than others.

Some students believe that a government grant will be too small to warrant their effort, and some think they won't get one at all. The exception to this myth is the Pell grant. The Pell grant is given to almost all who apply, although there are some restrictions included. The Pell grant eligibility and application usually comes from filling out the FAFSA, which will be discussed at a later point. Grants are weighted based on need, but everyone should expect at least something.

Filling out a FAFSA has never been easier. By filling it out online, students are able to receive government aid through only an hour or so of filling out an online application. Best yet, FAFSA now allows for information to be saved for future reference, meaning subsequent years will make the process much more easier in effect.

The university in which a student applies for will also be able to help when it comes to financial aid, such as the case in a work study. While doing a government-approved work study, the university employs a student in exchange for a drastic cut in the tuition of the student. This way the university gets free help, and also helps out students in the area who aren't afraid to work for their education.

If you do decide to go for a loan, be sure that you will have the means of paying it back by the time college is said and done. Most loans available to college students will have to be paid on as soon as the student leaves college. If one doesn't obtain a job almost immediately, it'll be tough to pay the bills each month.

Closing Comments

From here, students should now go talk to their counselors, fill out a FAFSA, and fill out as many scholarships as possible. Every little bit helps in paying off an expensive education.

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