School Grants & College Scholarships

Figuring out how you are going to afford the high costs of higher education can be an intimidating prospect for anyone. However, you should not be dissuaded from furthering your education because you think you will not be able to afford the expense. Instead, spend some time researching all of the financial aid or college grants you may qualify for; some of which may include federal school grants. Federal grants are a type of financial aid that you will not have to pay back after graduation, and can be used to cover any of the costs of attending college. This type of financial aid is awarded solely based on the financial need of the student, especially looking at the “Expected Family Contribution” section of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) report; so make sure that you have completely and honestly completed your FAFSA application to have the best chance of receiving federal grants. These grants are usually deposited into your student account, but can also be paid out to you by check or even deposited into your bank account. There are two types of federal student grants: the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

Besides these two federal student grant programs, your college may have certain funds set aside as student college grants. To find out more information about this available source of financial aid, you will need to visit your school’s financial aid office early and often. Most grant money is very limited and is distributed quickly, so complete your school’s financial aid application as soon as possible. The first step to receiving federal student aid of any kind is to fill out the FAFSA; in addition, most schools have their own financial aid forms you will need to complete to find out if you qualify for any local or private financial aid. As grant money is almost always reserved for students whose families demonstrate legitimate financial need, you may find that your own family’s financial resources limit your eligibility for grant programs. In that case, it is important that you make use of all types of financial aid, including student loans and work-study.

Financial Aid & Student Loans

Today student loans and financial aid are almost a given for college kids heading off to school. Few parents have the financial resources to pay all of the tuition for their children, and so most students fill out a FAFSA and apply for loans. This has not always been the case, however. Student loans are quite a modern invention.

The first recorded student loan program was developed by Harvard University in 1840. These early student loans were private loans that were not funded by the government. In 1935 the state of Indiana’s General Assembly passed a law that provided student aid to students who had high test scores on their college entrance exams. This led to the formation of the Indiana State Financial Aid Association, or ISFAA, which was followed by the opening of the first Financial Aid office in Indiana University. Soon other colleges joined the ISFAA, and Indiana students had a new way to pay for school.

On October 4, 1957, Russia launched the first successful satellite into space. This had a huge impact on the history of financial aid in America, because the American government suddenly realized that they were in a race to put the first person in space. They realized that they only way to succeed in this race was to ensure that as many high school graduates as possible attended college, a feat which was out of the financial resources of many. With guidance from the ISFAA, the federal government created a working financial aid program.

After World War II, Congress passed the National Defense Education Act. This act introduced the Perkins Loan, a low-interest student loan that is provided to low-income students and has a 10-year repayment period. This was the first federally backed student loan, and more would soon follow. In 1963 the Health Education Assistance Act provided loans for students pursuing degrees in medical and health fields. This was followed by what is now known as the Federal Work-Study Program, a program that allows the federal government to pay the wages of working students.

By the end of 1965, Most of the student loan programs we use today, such as the Stafford Loan, Work-Study Program, and Perkins Loan, were in place. As the cost of education continued to rise, the government introduced the Parent’s PLUS loan program in 1981, a program that allowed higher-income families to get assistance in paying for school. Today, these loan programs allow many students to pursue an education when they would otherwise be unable to, making them a valuable resource to our country as we strive to continue as a global leader.

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