Need based grants are, as the name implies, grants that students can get based on their financial needs. While most people need help paying for college, some families have such low incomes that they simply cannot afford even one semester of schooling without help. Families who have college-aged children and have incomes below a set level can qualify for need-based grants.
The most common type of need-based grant is a grant funded by the federal government. There are several federal grant programs. One of the most commonly used grants is theFederal Pell Grant. This grant has a family income ceiling of $40,000, which means that any families that earn less than $40,000 per year can qualify to receive a Pell Grant for their children to use to attend school. Work-study programs are also part of the federal grant program, as is the Supplemental Education Grant.
The good thing about need-based grants is that they do not rely on grades for approval. You do not have to have excellent grades in high school to get a need-based grant, nor do you have to maintain a high GPA throughout your college years. Even if you have a difficult time in school, need-based grants still allow you to get some money to help pay for your college education. Most need-based grants do require the student to maintain an average GPA through college, such as a C average, but most students are able to do this.
Of course, if you have a need-based grant and your income increases while you are at school, you will lose your money. You will also need to stay enrolled full time while getting this grant money. Other than these requirements, keeping the grant is fairly simple, and when you are done with school you will not have to pay back the grant.
To apply for need based grants, start by filling out the FAFSA form. The FAFSA serves as your application for the grant, and if you are qualified to receive one, you will be notified. The FAFSA must be filed by the beginning of March if you are going to attend school in the fall. If you are qualified for aid, you will receive a student award letter. Simply return the letter stating that you want the aid, and you will begin receiving the grant money when you start school in the fall! The money will be sent directly to your account at the school of your choice, making it quite simple to pay for your schooling.