The benefit of receiving a TAP and Pell Grant is that you don’t have to return the funds at any time. It’s free and clear to you. That is where the difference ends. Each has a different set of rules that are associated with each form of financial aid.
Pell Grant Specifics
The benefits of a Pell Grant are that they are considered an award, unlike a student loan for college. If you can prove that you have a financial need, then you should definitely do the work to apply to receive a Pell Grant.
A Pell Grant is money that you apply for and receive from the federal government. A student who is already in school as an undergrad or just enrolling at a college upon graduating from high school can apply for a Pell Grant. They can attend the school either full time or part time.
How a Pell Grant Is Awarded
The college receives the funds for your Pell Grant and doles out the funds to you either through direct deposit, cash or a written check. Before receiving the funds, the college will notify you in writing about how they have decided to distribute the funds and when they will arrive in your account or mailbox. Legally, the college is required to distribute the funds to the Pell Grant award winner a minimum of twice a year.
Funds for Pell Grants
The maximum Pell Grant award is approximately $6,000. The funds you receive are dependent on a number of things:
- Your financial need
- The amount of time you are attending college during the school year
- Your status as a full-time or part-time student
TAP Grant Details
The New York State Tuition Assistance Program is a regional program for residents of the Big Apple. Eligible residents of the great state of New York can apply annually for a TAP Grant. The award rounds out to a little over $5,000 each year per New York resident during the academic year that he is enrolled in school.
A TAP Grant is given to those who are currently a legal resident of New York and have lived in the state for 12 months in a row. The grant funds can only be used if the student is enrolled at an approved New York state university. To apply to TAP, an applicant must meet a few requirements, including:
- Graduated from a United States high school or earned an equivalent diploma
- Have a tuition fee of more than $200 a year
- Enrolled in an approved program of study and have a strong academic standing of a C average or above as of the fourth-semester payment
- Not be in default on any previous or current student loans
- Enrolled as a full-time student with no less than a 12-credit workload toward your chosen degree per semester
However, you should still attempt to do your very best to stay in good standing and follow through with your schooling requirements.
Tips for Applying for Scholarships
If you represent the best in your area of expertise, from recycling programs to community activism or other civic areas, then throw a wide net to find as many scholarships as you can that work for your niche.
A financial aid officer at your school or a community leader can be a great resource. They can help you to locate and apply for scholarships that are within your area of interest or expertise.
Check locally on the city, county and state level for scholarships. Scour the scholarships in your area or that are offered at the colleges you hope to attend. Scholarships are abundant for a student willing to do the work that comes with applying.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.