Higher education comes at a price. The cost of tuition, books and living expenses seem to rise every year, causing families to struggle to educate their children. Most state lotteries include a grant and scholarship program that helps pay the tuition and expenses of its low-income students. These programs are administered by a separate state agency that manages the application and award process. Money awarded is typically given directly to the school where the student is enrolled and pays for tuition and fees.
Find out who administers your state's lottery education funding program. Most states post this information on their lottery websites. The local college financial aid office can assist you or you can also contact your state's department of education. For example, Arkansas dedicates a web page to answering questions about its education lottery applications (see Resources).
Request application information. The agency that administers the lottery education program can tell you whether or not the state lottery supports a grant program, what the application process is, and either provide you with an applications package or direct you to an online or other source where the application information can be obtained. Application processes vary from state to state.
Read through the application information and make sure you qualify to receive a grant. You must be a resident in the state where you wish to apply. You will also need to financially qualify and you might be required to already be enrolled full-time in an approved university or college. Lottery education programs are designed to assist those with the inability to pay. Qualifications vary from state to state.
Complete and return the application as directed. Accurately provide all information requested -- an incomplete application could slow the process or eliminate you altogether.
Wait to find out if you are awarded a grant. Make sure you understand the time frame in which grants are received and processed; this information is usually stated in the application information. Processing the paperwork for your state will take time and most states set yearly deadlines for applications, making it prudent to return paperwork in a timely manner.
Some states require the completion of the FAFSA application. FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid that is required of any student applying for federally funded financial aid. Fill out a FAFSA whether it is requested or not -- doing so can contribute to resolving financial need and help pay for tuition if you are not awarded a state-based grant. FAFSA applications can be found on the web or through your college financial aid office (see Resources).
Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.