Grants for college students are a valuable resource, considering most families don't have the money to simply pay for their college students' educations. There are many different types of grants, and other funding opportunities that allow students from low-income families to obtain the kind of college education they want and deserve.

Fill out the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application helps students and families find grants and funding opportunities for college. The FAFSA can be found in high-school guidance counselors' offices and online (see Resources, below). A family's income is taken into account, as well as several other factors, to determine what kinds of grants or funding opportunities are offered.

Determine which grants you are qualified for. There are several ways that a student can qualify for a college grant. There are merit-based grants, which are offered because a student has shown an excellent academic effort or achievement. There are low-income grants, which help all types of students from low-income families attend college. Speak with a college representative or high-school guidance counselor for help in determining which grants you are qualified to receive.

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Look on the Grants.gov website for an up-to-date listing of grants made available by the U.S. government, including grants that help individuals attend college. One can search for grants by keyword to find grants relevant to their needs. Details are available on each grant as well, so that individuals can discover whether or not they would be eligible for a particular grant. Applications can be obtained from this website, allowing students to pursue more than one grant easily.

Call the college. Another way for you to find out about government college grants is to speak to the college you plan on attending. Most colleges stay up to date on the available grants for low-income and exceptional students, so they will have information as to what kinds of grants are available.

Network with your friends and peers. Chances are, you will be attending school with peers who have obtained grants as well. Network with your friends and peers; find out what kinds of grants they're using to attend college and where they received the applications.

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