College Grant Money Made Easy

June 24th, 2010

During college, opening the annual letter from my university detailing exactly how much tuition would cost became like ripping off a Band-Aid — just get it over with, and deal with the damage once you know what you’re looking at. (Trust me, a nearly $10,000 private loan for freshman year alone will do that to a girl.)

So when that same letter junior year contained the pleasant surprise of a free college grant, I was … well, pleasantly surprised. As it turns out, my family’s income dipped just enough to earn me a need-based federal grant I never knew existed (plus my Mom was a stickler for filling out the FAFSA, but more on that later). If college was Monopoly, then this was hitting the Free Parking space — I only wish I had known how to actively pursue free college grants all along.

If you’re aiming for an education, get educated about what free college grants are out there, and stake your claim instead of waiting for a lucky roll of fortune’s dice.

Start with Uncle Sam. The U.S. Government is one of the major sources of free college grants, along with state governments, universities and private foundations, according to the U.S. Dept. of Education’s annual Guide to Federal Student Aid.

Speaking from the perspective of one who didn’t read this incredibly useful guide until after graduating, I can attest that this idiot-proof, numbered list steps detailing how you can snag free college grants from the federal government should be required reading for the college-bound. (Page 14 in the PDF linked above.)

As the guide explains, the federal government offers six free college grants, all of which are free to apply for using the aptly-named Free Application for Student Aid, which you’ll need to fill out every year to keep receiving aid. Not quite ready to apply? Check out the free FAFSA4caster to get an estimate of how much aid you’ll be eligible for when you do apply. Federal free college grants include:

  • Federal Pell Grant — The “foundation of federal student aid,” as the Dept. of Education puts it. The maximum award for the 2010-2011 school year will be $5,550, and the information you provide on your FAFSA determines how much you get.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant — Between $100 and $4000 yearly for students with the most financial need.
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant — Given to students who complete a “rigorous secondary school program of study.” See if your high school qualifies.
  • National SMART Grant — Up to $4,000 a year for third or fourth year undergrads studying certain science or mathematics-related fields rockin’ a 3.0 or better GPA.
  • TEACH Grant — Up to $4,000 a year for students pursuing a teaching career.
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant — Available to children of a military service person killed in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept 11.

Thankfully, plenty of free college grants are available in addition to federal aid. Check out this database or visit your state government’s department of higher education website (take my home state’s, for example) to see what they offer.

Finally, universities award millions in institutional grants, a fancy phrase for academic or need-based scholarships. If you’re still courting colleges, ask about scholarship opportunities on a tour or visit the school website to scan the financial aid offerings and other free college grants. Or, if you haven’t found your dream school yet but know you really need merit-based aid, consider the schools on U.S. News and World Report’s list of colleges that provide the most non need-based aid (much respect for your generosity, Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich.)

Clearly, doing your homework on financial aid and free college grants starts long before you hit that lecture hall. But when the alternatives to getting free money include cramming a part-time job into your class schedule or swimming eyeballs-deep in loan debt, it’s homework that pays off.

$1.2 Million in College Grants Awarded in North Carolina

June 23rd, 2010


Thirty-seven N.C. colleges will participate in a $1.2 million project to reduce smoking on campuses statewide.

The N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund announced the grants as the third phase of its Tobacco-Free Colleges Initiative to fight tobacco use and prevent exposure to secondhand smoke among college students.

The Guilford County Department of Health and the Mecklenburg County Department of Health was awarded $300,000 from the trust fund and East Carolina University and UNC-Wilmington were both awarded $200,000 to lead prevention projects.

Grant recipients will work on college and university campuses to prevent the initiation of tobacco use, promote tobacco use cessation and eliminate tobacco-related health disparities among college students, as well as to eliminate exposure to second hand tobacco smoke.

Phases I and II awarded more than $1.4 million to 14 institutions.

The Phase III grants were announced in March and the programs they fund are set to start July 1.

Education Grants from President Obama

June 10th, 2010

You may recall Obama’s plan to make college available to all who desire it. If you don’t remember the pitch, his proposal quoted that tuition costs are on the rise, and grants fail to keep up with demand, and the result is that students and families were having a harder and harder time paying for college.

The proposal also quoted:

• College costs have grown nearly 40 percent in the past five years
• 60 percent of all college graduates leave college with debt.
• The average graduate leaves college with over $19,000 in debt
• Between 2001 and 2010, 2 million academically qualified students will not go to college because they
cannot afford it.
• Only 12 percent of Hispanics and 16 percent of African Americans eventually earn a bachelor’s degree –
compared with 33 percent of White students. The rising cost of college is a factor in this disparity.

obama grantsPresident Obama felt as though these trends not only put our place in the global economy at risk, but also our own thriving ecosystem in the great USA. Knowing that over 1.5million didn’t apply for student aid in the year before he begun his campaign, his intent was to make it well known that all who are eligible for Pell Grant would receive better resources to apply, and the proper attention to succeed. This all fit in with his aim to simplify the application process for financial aid. This also included, but not limited to, helping students become aware of college readiness, extend pell grants to lower income sectors and students, develop a community partnership program, and make it more affordable for students to manage student loans by eliminating private loan firms.

To find out if you’re eligible for a grant right now, select one of the resources on our website.

“We need to put a college education within reach of every American. That’s the best investment we can make in our
future. I’ll create a new and fully refundable tax credit worth $4,000 for tuition and fees every year, which will cover twothirds
of the tuition at the average public college or university. I’ll also simplify the financial aid application process so
that we don’t have a million students who aren’t applying for aid because it’s too difficult. I will start by eliminating the
current student aid form altogether – we’ll use tax data instead.”
[Barack Obama, Reclaiming the American Dream Speech, Bettendorf, IA, 11/7/07]

To read the original issue fact sheet, please see the official college affordability fact sheet from 2007.

Can I Get a Goverment Grant from Obama?

June 9th, 2010

grant-moneyIn order to qualify, you must be a citizen of the United States, and you must be at least 18 years of age. The payouts are defined by a few factors. For example, if you’re taxes have not been paid, you only get $300 dollars. If you’re single, you get $600 bucks if you’ve earned over $3000 USD in the past year, and have paid taxes on that income. If you’re classified as low income, own a small business, are a student or single mom, or work for a low wage under minimum wage, you may qualify for more.

You can apply for Obama’s free money campaign on our website if you’re in a hurry, or browse around to become more educated from our free resources offered.

You also must be familiar with filling out the grant application on the government website, or pay a cheap service to do it for you. You may find our recommended list of grant submission services here on our website. You can also download the form, but we must stress you need to know the proper submission actions and the correct information to increase your chances of getting approved.

Currently, over 700 BILLION dollars have been allocated to grants. Have you claimed your free money? I would hurry up before it’s too late!

Alternatively, you can find other grants from the Obama Administration on other areas of our website. It is recommended that you discover what other grants you may be eligible for before filing for one… as one may be much more beneficial for you, especially if you’re a minority in the workforce or own a small business as mentioned previously.

Obama Grant Money Scams

June 9th, 2010

grant money scamsDon’t fall for the give me your money, I’ll get you a grand types!

You typically have to apply on the official government grant websites, or use an agency or representative that is experienced in the matter to advice you and handle your submission with you. The scams you will find often include some type of intial retainer you pay them, such as, give us a $1oo dollars now, and you’ll get your money faster…. “we will work on it for you.” This is BS and is definiately a scam of the OBama Grant Syndrome, after all, everyone wants their free money just like you.

But you, you’re smarter than that. Use our resources on this site to educate yourself and see what other Obama Grants you nullify for. Use our recommended services and apply for the grants accordingly. Once you see what you qualify for, select the best grants that will help you the most and apply. Be sure to look out for conflicting grants, as you will not be awarded any if non applicable. If you’re not sure, browse our website to find out more or speak with a representative you see mentioned here. Alternatively, should you sign up for some sort of grant service, be sure to read the terms and conditions to you know up front what the company will actually do for you.

Many deceiving headlines you will see are as follows:

Obama scholarships for Moms
Obama college grants for Moms
Obama single Mom grants
Obama school grants for Moms
Obama back to school grants
Obama back to school grants for Moms
Obama business grants
Obama education grants
Obama health grants
Obama school grants
Obama small business grants
Obama grants for Moms
Obama Pell grants
Obama scholarships
Obama college grants

These will be followed by some scammy offer of, “get all the free money you want” etc…