Low-income students may feel they don't have a chance to attend college because their family can't pay for tuition. However, there are a number of assistance programs to help these students attend college. By understanding how to find and obtain grants, low-income students can start searching for college funding today.
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get the process started. This application puts students' names in for a number of different assistance programs and helps match them with grants and other opportunities based on family income and other factors. The FAFSA is typically available in guidance counselor offices at the students' high schools, as well as on the Web at www.FAFSA.ed.gov. This application is a vital part of the collegiate financial aid process, and shouldn't be overlooked by low-income students who need a way to pay for college.
Check out grant opportunities on the federal level. There are a number of assistance programs for low-income students at the federal level, including the Pell Grant, the Academic Competitiveness (AC) Grant and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant. The Pell Grant is available to all low-income students, providing they pass certain criteria. The AC Grant is available for students who have shown exceptional academic ability, while the SMART Grant is available to students studying computer science, engineering, science or mathematics.
Find state-level grants and financial aid programs that will help with college. Most states provide grants for many different types of students, including low-income, minorities or students who are pursuing a "high need" field. No matter what state a student comes from, there are opportunities they shouldn't overlook. In fact, most states that have the lottery use the funds from the lottery program to pay for education.
Pursue minority low-income grants to attend college if you fall within the category of a minority. There are minority grants available for Hispanic students, African-American students, Native American students and Asian students, among others. Individuals applying for these types of grants will need to prove heritage so they can receive the funds, but this is an excellent source of college funding.
Aside from government grants, there are other types of grants available to help students get into college. Organizations and companies often offer private grants for certain individuals. For instance, Coca-Cola offers grants to students who are the first out of their families to attend college, or students that come from a disadvantaged background. Speak to a representative at the college you plan on attending to find out if they're aware of any other grants you might pursue.