Grants, Scholarships and Loans Available to Students
The price of higher
education can be daunting to students and their families. It is easy to become
discouraged when you first look at the costs associated with earning a college
degree. However, you may not realize that there are many resources that are
available to help deserving students. There is a wide array of grants,
scholarships and loans that are offered by the federal and state government, in
addition to aid provided by your chosen college and other organizations (both
private and nonprofit). They are all designed to help you fulfill your academic
It's important to
first understand the differences among grants, scholarships and loans. Grants
and scholarships generally do not have to be repaid, whereas loans do have that
requirement. Grants differ from scholarships in that they are usually based on
financial need, whereas scholarships are most often based on merit. These are
all nuances that you must take into consideration.
As you face the
challenge of college costs, you will need some guidance. Here are some student
aid opportunities that are especially helpful to students just like you.
The U.S. Department
of Education offers several specific types of federal grants. The first step is
to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Then you can
work with your college (or career school) to find out what amount you are
eligible to receive. The important thing to remember is that this is a process.
There are no shortcuts. Take the time to study your options and fill out the
paperwork early. Ticket2Greatness
hopes you take advantage of these opportunities. We all want you to succeed
both athletically and academically, and we know that you can focus on your
athletic and academic goals more easily when the finances are in place.
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Pell Grants
do not need to be repaid. They are primarily awarded to undergraduates who have
not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree. Grant amounts may vary from
year to year. As an example, the maximum Federal Pell Grant was $5,550 for the
award year of 2012-2013. The amount depends on your financial need; whether you
are a full-time or part-time student; whether you will be attending school for
a full academic year or less; and the cost to attend the school of your choice.
The U.S. Department
of Education provides these funds to participating
schools so that they can disperse them to their eligible students. Your school
may pay you directly, apply the funds to your school costs or provide a
combination of both.
Special note: Effective on July 1, 2012, you are
only eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant for a period of no more than 12
Federal Supplemental Educational
Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is an award for
undergraduate students having exceptional
To apply, you need to
complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSASM) so that your
school can determine the extent of your financial need. If you have qualified
for a Federal Pell Grant and you have exceptional financial need, you will
receive the FSEOG before the Pell Grant.
The FSEOG is campus-based,
meaning that the FSEOG program is administered by the each participating school.
Since not all colleges participate, be sure to check with the school's
financial aid office to see if the FSEOG is offered. The amount can range
between $100 and $4,000 a year depending on factors like your need and the
availability of your school's funds. It's a first-come, first-serve policy
until the funds run out. So it's important to fill out this form early. This is
different than the Pell Grants that provides awards to all eligible students.
Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized
The U.S. Department
of Education also offers loans that have a low interest rate to eligible
students. Again, eligibility depends on your financial needs. Unlike
scholarships and grants, these loans need to be repaid.
There are "Direct
Subsidized Loans" and "Direct Unsubsidized Loans". Direct Subsidized Loans pay
the interest of your loan for you if
you are in school at least half-time, for the first 6 months after you graduate
and during any period of deferment (if there is a postponement of loan
Loans are available to all students, and there is no requirement to demonstrate
financial need. In this type of loan you are responsible for the interest. You can
choose not to pay the interest while
you are in school, but that interest will accrue and be added to the principal
amount of the loan.
In both the Direct Subsidized
Loan and the Direct Unsubsidized Loan, your school determines the amount that
you are eligible to receive.
Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate
PLUS loans are also
federal in origin. It was designed so that graduate students and parents of
dependent undergraduate students can afford to pay for college or career
schools. It helps pay for education costs that are not covered by other financial aid. The loans are offered to
eligible borrowers through schools that participate in the Direct Loan Program.
To apply for a Direct
PLUS Loan, you (as a graduate student) or your child (in case of parent
borrowers) need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA). Your school's financial aid office can help you with understanding
The summary above is
just a snapshot of available aid. It's important that you study all options
thoroughly. Some important Federal websites that you should review are:
Federal Student Aid:
Federal Pell Grant:
Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Federal Parent Loan
for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
William D. Ford
Federal Direct Loan Program
There are also private and non-profit
resources to help you in addition to federal and state aid. Talk to your High
School guidance counselor or your college financial aid advisor. Do not give
up! Perseverance is important! Don't let financial challenges derail you from
your path to greatness!