Scholarships & Grants 2023

Keep Find out about different types of grants and scholarships and how to apply for them.
If you are a student or the parent of a student who will be attending college, learn how to receive as much financial assistance as possible. .  With the cost of attending college rising significantly each year, paying for college is often the most challenging thing a student and their family will face after receiving an acceptance letter. Many scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid exist to help ease the burden of these payments, but it is not always easy to determine which ones you might qualify for.  

Looking for scholarships and grants can prove a lengthy process that involves a lot of hunting and preparing paperwork to meet the requirements. The process, however, should not deter you from researching and applying for ones for which you meet the criteria. If you or your child are starting to think about attending college and looking for assistance with managing the costs, keep reading. Here you will learn more about the types of scholarships and grants that exist and how to locate and apply for them. 

What Is a Study Grant/Scholarship?

Both grants and scholarships provide options to help a student fund their college expenses. They have some similarities but are also slightly different, especially regarding the required qualifications.  

A study grant provides money for students, usually funded by the federal or state government. Sometimes they are also available through private organizations or the university or college you wish to attend. The student does not typically have to repay the amount of the grant received, and the criteria required to qualify for one usually depends on the specific financial need of the student. Note that in some circumstances, such as early withdrawal from a program or a change in enrollment status, the student may have to repay a portion of the awarded grant.  

A scholarship also provides funding for students to pay their college expenses (either partial or complete funding). Many different organizations offer scholarship opportunities for students, and the qualification requirements are usually tied to academic achievements, student background, experiences, and interests, or even awarded through contests. Similar to a grant, the student does not have to repay any scholarship money awarded. 

Types of Grants and Scholarships 

Federal government grants offered to student fall into four main types. 

Aside from these federal grant options, you can check with your specific college or university and your state government to determine if they offer any additional options for financial aid grants. You can search various websites like The College Grants database or Student Grants to see what other options are available. 

Since scholarships are more diverse and require more extensive research, locating and applying for them takes additional time and work. Start by looking at some scholarship websites or using a scholarship search tool to see what types are open and available for the current year. 

You will find during your search that scholarships range from demographics-based to school-based to GPA-based and everything in between. Almost any applicant can likely find some matching scholarships to which they can apply and potentially receive money to help fund education expenses, including tuition, room and board, and books. 

Do You Qualify for any Federal Grants? 

To qualify for any of the four Federal Grants mentioned above, you must meet specific criteria (usually need-based). You also must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to determine your eligibility and be considered for financial aid. 

The government awards the TEACH grant to students who demonstrate financial need and agree to complete a service teaching obligation (such as teaching for a certain number of years in a low-income area) as a requirement of receiving the grant money. Students who fail to complete the agreed-upon service teaching obligation must repay the grant and any accrued interest. 

The FSEOG grant is federal money awarded to the student directly from a college or university and is based on the student's financial need as determined by their FAFSA. Not all colleges and universities participate in this program. 

Only undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need can receive Federal Pell Grants. 

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is for students who meet the eligibility requirements for the Federal Pell Grant (but have not received any Pell Grant money). The student must also have suffered the loss of a parent who died as a result of their service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11. The student must also have been younger than 24 years old and enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of their parent's death.  

How Much Can You Save on College with a Study Grant or Scholarship?

The amount of money you can save on college with a study grant or scholarship varies greatly depending on the type you receive. Some scholarships will only be worth a few hundred dollars, while others may cover the entire cost of tuition and/or room and board. 

Grants are slightly more predictable as to how much money you might receive. Federal Pell Grants and the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant will only give out up to a maximum of $6,895 per year. The maximum for the TEACH grant is $4,000 per year, and the maximum for the FSEOG is capped at $4,000 a year. 

Often, students may need to combine several different scholarships and grants to cover a significant portion of college or university expenses. 

Where to Apply for Grants

To start applying for Federal grants, you need to first fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you have completed and submitted this form, you will receive notification of any eligible Federal and school-specific grants that you will receive for the upcoming school year. Keep in mind that there is a deadline that you must have all of your information submitted to receive consideration for a grant.