Federal Grants for Students, Housing, and Government Benefits

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As more students fill out applications to college, the price of a good education seems to continue to rise.

For many students, this is a stumbling block that sometimes prevents them from obtaining the education they need to secure a bright and fruitful future for themselves and their families. It doesn’t have to be that way, though.

If you feel like you are between a rock and a hard place with your education, consider applying for federal grants. These grants are awards of financial assistance offered by the government to support students with their education.

While strict requirements must be met to obtain these grants, they do not have to be repaid, and with them, you may be able to attend college at little to no cost to you.

Eligibility for Federal Grants

In the 2003 to 2004 school year, the federal government distributed about $17.2 billion in grants to students struggling to obtain their education, with each student receiving an average of $3,986, according to Citizen Joe.

Since then, the average grant money provided by the government has increased to compensate for the never-ending increase in tuition rates. You can take advantage of this money for your college education, as long as you are eligible for the grants.

Here are just a few eligibility requirements you must meet in order to obtain government grants:

  • Show financial need.
  • Provide proof you have earned your high school diploma or GED.
  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Be attending an accredited college participating in the grant program.
  • Be obtaining your first professional degree.
  • Register with the Selective Service if needed.
  • Maintain academic achievement while attending the college.

For many federal grants related to your education, you will also need to visit www.fafsa.ed.gov to fill out the online FAFSA or request a paper application.

Government Grants for Students

  • Student Pell Grants – The Pell Grant for the 2012-2013 school year awards up to $5,400 to qualify students per year. The exact amount is determined by the Department of Education after the student has filled out a FAFSA, the student’s eligibility has been assessed, and the student’s expected family contribution has been determined.
  • Federal Housing Grants – While the government does not provide specific housing grants for students who are enrolled in college and obtaining their education, it does give students access to funds that may help them pay for the housing they need. The Federal Pell Grant, for instance, can not only be used for tuition and books, but may also be used to pay for other expenses that may occur during college, like living expenses. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also provides assistance for individuals with very low incomes who need affordable housing to rent while attending college.
  • Government Benefit Programs – If you need additional assistance from the government while you are in college, you can also take advantage of the many government benefit programs available to low income, disabled, and elderly individuals, like Medicaid, Stafford Student Loans, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Don’t let the cost of college keep you from earning your degree. Begin learning more today about how grants and assistance from the federal government can help you afford your college education.

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