NOTICE: There is over $1 trillion in student loans outstanding. It's never too early to plan for college!

Paying for your Child’s College Finances

Let's suppose that you have a child who will be graduating soon from high school. Of course, you will feel happy, just like any proud parent who have their children graduating from high school. It is one of the challenges of life that you have successfully surpassed, despite of the financial instabilities that you have probably experienced. It is time to celebrate, for you have fulfilled your responsibility of giving your child a bright future.

But as many would say, a high school graduation is not the end. In fact, it is just the beginning of tougher challenges that awaits you and your child in the succeeding years—college education.

“Education is expensive, if you want something cheaper, try ignorance,” this is one of the clichés that has ben well worn and said over a million times. But this cliché is a reality that painfully bites.

Nowadays, only a few numbers of students have parents who can really afford their education in college without placing excessive burden on their shoulders. The common scenario for youths today is working while studying at the same time, especially in college, working students as what they are termed.

Most often the academic performances of these working students’ suffer if they will not be able to manage their time wisely. But are we going to allow education to be exclusive only for the wealthy? The answer is, definitely not.

At this point, you should start thinking about how you will finance the studies of your college-bound child. With the increasing cost of tuition fees, you need to plan ahead of time to avoid any misfortune, especially if you have experienced how to be financially-needing. You know how hard it is to have both of your hands tied-up against the increasing cost of your child’s high school education before. The sooner you start planning for the college education of your child, the less you will encounter financially-related problems later on.

Apply for Free Government Grants

To apply for free government grants, you must first check on your eligibility. You can choose to apply for free government grants among several options depending on your need.

The financial aid journey for students always starts with the FAFSA, as many other forms of aid are based off of your FAFSA results.

If you are a student and you want to apply for free government grants, you can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at the FAFSA Web site. Before you apply for free government grants, you must prepare the required documents. Over 6 million students apply for free government grants through FAFSA in 2002. Between Jan. 1 and March 1, 2002 alone, more than 500,000 of these students apply for free government grants through the FAFSA website. As education costs have continued to grow & student debt has reached over a trillion Dollars millions more studentshave applied in the decade since!

To be able to apply for free government grants through FAFSA, you must:

  • be citizen or eligible noncitizen of the U.S. with valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate or pass an approved test by the Department of Education
  • To apply for free government grants, you need to enroll for an eligible program as a regular student. If you are male 18-25 years old, you are required to register for selective service to apply for free government grants. And finally, should be eligible or partially eligible on the drug conviction question to apply for free government grants.
  • The federal law stipulates that those convicted with possession or selling of drugs are not qualified to apply for free government grants. Although, they are qualified to apply for free government grants that are non-federal such as state grants.

If you want a chunk of that huge Congress budget allocated for major projects then you can apply for free government grants through Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). CFDA lists all grants and assistance programs you can apply for free government grants that are administered by 57 federal agencies. Look up the CFDA website to find out if there is any program that you can apply for free government grants. For instance, Congress has allocated $22 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement “Public and Indian Housing Drug Elimination Program”. For those who want to apply for free government grant are required to have projects that can lessen or eradicate drug-related problems. If you are eligible, you can apply for free government grants to HUD for project funding.

You can also apply for free government grants to the different government agencies such as Department of Education Grants and Contracts Information, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Transportation (DOT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Stopping Violence Against Women and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has over 300 programs run by several agencies which you can apply for free government grants.

To apply for free government grants require time and effort on your part including the fulfillment of obligations that come with it. You need to keep that in mind if you decide to apply for free government grants.

Grants vs Scholarships vs Student Loans

If you think you will be faced again with financial problems, it is important that you know the different financial aid programs available for your college-bound child. Continue reading and learn the financial aids to lean on to:

  • Grants- it is the first type of college financial aid that you can apply for. It simply requires you to complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. Once the application has been sent, it will be evaluated and if your child will qualify, he/she will be entitled to the full amount of what he/she qualifies for. At this point, you need not do anything much further except to provide the name of the college or university your child wants to enroll to.
  • Scholarships- although scholarship is commonly intended for students who have the “brains” but do not have the “fortune”, not all college scholarships are bounded to academics. Students who do not have the best academic record can still qualify to other multitudes of college scholarships. There you have the college sports scholarships, community service work scholarships, social involvement scholarships, and others. There are just the different types of scholarships for your child if he is not that talented when it comes to academics.
  • Student Loans- these type of loans have lower interest rates compared to other types of loans. There are instances where the loans are subsidized, which means that the interest does not accumulate until a student finishes college. Furthermore, these loans does not require a collateral, thus you do not have to worry about putting your own home as a collateral against the student loan for your child. Most of these loans are available on a variety of repayment plans at low interest rates and low monthly installment payments.

If you have not started searching for the various financial aid programs available, it is recommended that you start now. These financial aids will help you in the long run and will provide the funds needed for your child’s college education. Get yourself free from financial worries through these aids.

That is why education grants benefits and opportunities exist. The purpose of this is to help the students to sustain their college education by generating educational funds though minimal. Grants unlike scholarships are based on the students’ specific need, if not a combination of needs and merits.

However, before you get this privilege, you have to be assured that you are eligible for the opportunity. Basically, the process of grants benefited both the students and the institutions that are using that grant money to develop the curriculum, employ new faculties, and construct new facilities.

The difference of grants to the scholarships and students’ loans is that it is given to the benefactor without any expectation of repaying it. Grant is a monetary gift. Scholarship on the other hand, is awarded according to the academic merit though it is also a monetary gift.

However, the students’ loans really differ among the three privileges. Students’ loan is the sum of money being borrowed by the student to finance his schooling with the agreement to repay it after some time with the corresponding interests.

Deep Diving For Funding: Search For Financial Support by Source Type

The awarding of grants may come in general categories, or it may also be awarded to students who are pursuing a specialized degree program, like mathematics or business, or to various degree levels, such as Bachelors, Associate, Doctoral or Masters.

Also, grants may come originally from different sources: college and university, public and private organization, and federal state.

Since grants are specially meant for the financially unprivileged, certain grants exist for the deprived, underrepresented minorities and students. There are also some cases wherein the grant money is exchanged for professional service after the graduation. This is common to those taking up health care professions. The main purpose of this is to keep trained professionals in medically underserved regions.

Grants are particularly taken up by the adult students to return to college or to college programs that will direct them in reentering the place of work. This is usual since college does not anymore require for the traditional age, specifically between 18 to 24 years of age. Americans nowadays are becoming more and more practical in considering several chances to receive a degree. And this modern perception has driven adult students to flock into colleges without the fear of public scrutiny unlike before. The world today is requiring skillful and sharp new set of labor force for them to be able to join the flow of the competitive market. And for the applicants to be credible for these characteristics they must present a college diploma. Hence, having a college degree is really vital.