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 Free Grant Money For College- Truth or Fiction? 
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Post Free Grant Money For College- Truth or Fiction?
by: Tracey Tanner

Most of us have viewed the local tv commercials informing us about the millions in cash grant money available for students around the nation. Yes, there may be a grain of truth in that claim, most of us are pretty certain that the Federal government has no intention of handing over millions of dollars in free grant money for college to help pay for our education But, the government does offer a number of grants to help students pay for their education.

How Do I Find Free Grant Money For College?

Pell Grant, One Type of Government Grant

Fortunately for students and parents, most Federal Aid packages do not take your credit history into account.

What is Free Grant Money for College and Am I Eligible?

Pell Grants are one of the oldest government grants available to students and disbursement and eligibility are based primarily on your economic status.If you or your parent are considered a low-income family by the government's standards, a Pell Grant may be attained depending on your level of need.The key word to note here is "almost" or "may". As with any other Government-funded program, you will be required to demonstrate your financial need with the proper documentation.

Since the Pell Grant is a grant and not a loan, it will not have to be paid back when you graduate. At the present time, you can receive up to $5,350 per year with a Pell Grant.The maximum amount can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount of funding you receive from the Pell Grant will depend largely on your financial need, your cost of education, whether you are a full-time or part-time student, and more.

What to Do When Free Grant Money for College Just Isn't Enough

Because your economic status plays a role in determining your eligibility for a Pell Grant, you may or many not qualify, and if you do, the grant may not cover the entire cost of your college degree.Most students, therefore, will want to seek a student loan in addition to a Pell Grant (or instead of one if they don't qualify) to fund their education.

Stafford Loans are the most common type of Federal Student Loan program. There are two types of Stafford Loans available and students may qualify for both types (Subsidized or Unsubsidized). Fortunately, both types of Stafford Loans do not look at the student's or parents' credit rating when determining eligibility for these loans.

The first type of Stafford Loan, and the most desirable, is called a 'subsidized' loan. The term comes from the fact that the government pays any interest that accrues during the period the loan is not being repaid. That period is typically while the student is carrying a half-time or greater load of classes, and for the first six months after leaving school.

An unsubsidized Stafford Loan, however, requires that college students pay for any interest accrued on the outstanding principle.The good news is, if you are strapped for cash while you are in college, you do not have to pay your interest payments, but they will be added to the loan principle.

Perkins Loans versus Stafford Loans

In addition to Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans are also available to college students to help fund their education. Perkins Loans are awarded to students (both undergraduate and graduate) who demonstrate financial need. This is a campus-based loan program, with the school acting as the lender using a limited pool of funds provided by the federal government.

How Much Am I Eligible For?

For Stafford Loans, dependent undergraduate students can borrow from $5,500 to $7,500 per year. For independent undergraduate students, you can take out from $9,500 to $12,500 per year. Grad students or professional students can get loans of up to twenty-thousand, five hundred dollars each year.

A Perkins Loan allows students to borrow up to five-thousand five hundred per year to eight-thousand per year. The amount you receive under the Perkins Loan program (unlike the Stafford program) will depend somewhat on the funding level at the school, but the loan offers a very low interest rate of five percent.

Funding Your Degree

Obviously, every student's situation is different. Although many individuals will be able to receive free grant money for college because of their economic status, some students will instead have to take advantage of low-rate student loans to fund their college tuition costs and expenses. Although we would all rather get free grant money for college (and many students do qualify), in the end, the most important thing is that you are able to find a college or university that offers a Financial Aid Package that will help you realize your dream of attaining a college degree.

Find or find universities that offer financial aid packages that better meet your unique needs.

About The Author
As an author for, Tracey reviews and compares colleges.

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Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:16 am
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