Scholarships for college students greatly help students to study better by having least worries about paying their fees. The student debt continues to increase which not only burdens the students themselves but greatly jeopardizes their ability to enjoy their career life. Scholarships offered to college students have become an easy option for learners to pay for their school fees. Many well-wishers have come together to save many families from going bankrupt as they try to finance the education of their children. The large number of scholarships and grants, as a result, give students the opportunity to choose one that will help to substantiate their cost of education. In the United States, students debts is termed as 21st century disaster that is waiting to malign the future generation and the progress of the economy. According the Newyoker and Forbes, the student loan debt stands at $1.5 trillion, a figure that threaten the future of over 3rd of Americans. There are many websites providing legit guide on the places one can find genuine Scholarships and grants. It is, therefore, advisable to encourage students to seep financial support to avoid accumulating excess student loans that will turn into a burden in the future.
The cost of college education is getting out of hand. Parent’s contribution to a student’s financial aid pie is significant. They save for their children’s college tuition for the better part of their career, and even then, a student may have to take scholarships for college students supplement the parent’s contribution.
Princeton Review carried out a survey that revealed scholarships for college students applicants are no longer worrying about not getting into the college of choice as much as they are about the debt they are going to accumulate for their studies. The average annual cost of studying in a public four-year institution is over $20,000, and in private colleges, it can reach over $30,000 per year. Indicators show that these costs will continue to rise.
The high cost of high education has become an obstacle for some young people to pursue their dreams and scholarship programs aid in removing this obstacle by providing financial assistance to a student to pay for their education. The students that qualify for scholarships get a huge relief since it pays part or all of their college fees. Scholarships are provided by many companies, foundations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, etc. For the year 2020-2021, numerous Scholarships and grants are available, and all one had to do is to check their eligibility criteria, and apply.
Receiving a grant is one way that a person can get their student loan forgiven. Therefore, for an individual that is looking for a means to payoff this debt, they should not ignore grants. These are valuable sources of finance that can help a student to make their dreams a reality. Every year, more than $40 billion goes to students in the USA in the form of scholarships and grants by the Department of Education, universities, and colleges. Also, more than 3 billion in grants and scholarships comes from organizations, foundations, civic societies, churches, individuals, associations, and many others
Are Grants Different From Scholarships?
It is one of the common questions that people ask, and the answer is that they are a lot similar, but have a few differences that set them apart. One of their core differences is that while scholarships can be need and merit-based, most grants are need-based. It does not mean that academic merit is not part of the criteria for consideration, only that the priority is the students in need of financial aid.
There are award-for-service grants that are aligned with a particular field of study. In most cases, they address some of the critical issues that may be facing a particular area, such as the shortage of healthcare providers in remote facilities or shortages of social workers and teachers. This form of grant is given to the person that agrees to particular terms of service, such as providing services in an undeserved community or a critical need facility for a predetermined period. If one is provided with the grant and they fail to meet the terms of service, they will have to repay the amount awarded plus the interest accumulated.
- Career-based aid
- Federal aid
- State-based aid
- Military aid
It refers to the programs that focus on providing aid to persons that have studied in specific fields that need help paying off their student loans. Sometimes, such grants are provided on a national level, by the state or colleges.
1.Grants for healthcare professionals
- The HIS repayment program. It is a program dedicated to health professionals. The program fund the professionals in the healthcare field in exchange for them accepting to provide two years of service to facilities that are providing care to Alaska Native communities and American Indian communities. The opportunities for services is in the facilities that are experiencing staffing problems in specific disciplines. The recipient of the grant has the freedom to renew the contract yearly, till all their student debt is fully settled.
- NHSC loan repayment program. The National Health Service Corps provides licensed clinicians in various fields with loan repayment assistance. The requirement is for a clinician to work for two years in the area designated by NHSC. The eligibility areas include dental care, primary care areas, behavioral, and mental health areas. The grant package for the two years of service is $50,000.
- Nurse Corps Loan Repayment program. It is a grant that targets professionals in the nursing field. The support is to the advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), Registered Nurses (RN), and Nurse Faculty (NF). The grant pays off 85 percent of student loan debt. The beneficiary works for a minimum of two years in a critical shortage facility anywhere in the country. Alternatively, they can work in a school of nursing as a nurse faculty.
- NIH Loan Repayment Programs. It is a grant under the National Institute of Health that focuses on paying educational debts for professionals in behavioral and biomedical research careers. The program offers an annual grant of $50,000 to the beneficiaries in exchange for their commitment to participate in NIH research activities. They also award the grant to researchers not currently employed by the Institute. The objective is to assist the applicants that exhibit the potential to establish and sustain a career in research.
2.Grants for teachers
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. It is a program that offers grants to teachers that agree to teach in an educational service agency or a low-income school for five consecutive years. They provide a grant amounting to $17,500. Even in a situation where a teacher is unable to complete the final year, they assume that one has completed the full five-year term as long as they fulfilled their responsibilities for at least half of the year.
- Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation. The amount provided in grants by this program is dependent on the eligibility of the individual, the kind of teaching service they offer, and the duration of service. One hundred percent cancellation of the debt occurs when the person agrees to work full-time in an elementary or secondary school. They can serve in the institution as a teacher or a special education teacher, such as a teacher for children and youth with disabilities. Alternatively, they can teach in the fields of foreign languages, science, mathematics, bilingual education, or any other area the state education agency determines to be experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers.
- Grants for vets
- The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. VMLRP pays up to 25,000 per year for the qualifying veterinarians. The veterinary professional has to agree to work or three years in the location that the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) decides. They go to areas with a problem of shortage of personnel. One of the requirements of qualifying for this grant is that the applicant’s vet school debt should be at least $15,000.
- Grants for lawyers
- Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program. The program offers the participants grants of up to $5,600 per year, and their eligibility will determine if they will continue to get the money for the full three years. The condition for this grant is the attorney to use the money to pay their law school loans and interest and should agree to work for the organization’s grantees. The loan given as grant is forgiven when the attorney remains in good standing with the grantee throughout the 3-year term. The attorney’s student loan should be at least $75,000.
- The Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program. The grant program offers $6,000 per year. The selection for this program takes place every spring. It considers the Justice Department employees that are servicing as attorneys. The selection process for this grant is highly competitive, and it comes with a 3-year service obligation to the Department. Also, the attorney’s student debt must be more than $10,000.When the attorney fails to complete the full term of service, they should refund all the money to the Department
- John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program. This program provides grants from $4,000 up to $6, The grant is available for both federal and state public defenders as well as state prosecutors that will agree to serve in the position for three years. Failure to complete the term, the amount received should be refunded.
- Public service Loan Forgiveness. The persons eligible for PSLF are those working full-time in the federal, state, and local government. Even the persons working for nonprofit organizations may qualify. The student loan is forgiven after the person owing the money makes monthly payments for 120 months while in employment.
- Income-driven Repayment Forgiveness. It is a plan for a student loan forgiveness that starts by setting the monthly payment amount according to the income one is earning. There are four types of plans, which include the IBR Plan, REPAYE Plan, PAYE Plan, and ICR Plan. The monthly payments depend on the person’s plan. For the persons under REPAYE and IBR plan, they make the monthly payments for either 20 or 25 years, depending on various circumstances. For PAYE Plan and ICR Plan, it is 20 and 25 years, respectively. The remaining balance under the four plans is forgiven if the loan is not yet paid in full.
- New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program. The program is an incentive for encouraging graduates to pursue farming. The loan forgiveness award is for college graduates from NYS approved college or University and they agree to work full-time on a farm for five years. The candidate must be a New York State resident and have been living there for the 12 months before submitting their application. The maximum amount is $50,000, through yearly payments of $10,000.
- Stem Loan Forgiveness Program. The people that are eligible for this grant by North Dakota are working in the Stem-related occupations. They are in the fields of either science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. The objective is to lower debts that are owed by graduates in the state of North Dakota. It offers up to $6,000. The qualifying person must be earning a maximum annual income of $60,000 or less in a STEM-related field.
- Alfond Leaders Student Reduction Program. It is a grant program by the state of Maine. The loan repayment assistance is available to persons with an occupation in the STEM field and working for a Maine-based employer. The maximum amount of money this program can offer is $60,000. The applicant should either be a resident of Maine or looking to become one after they get a job in Maine
- NYS Child Welfare Worker Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program. The New York state provides it to the persons working in the state’s child licensed welfare agencies. The maximum that one can receive is an annual payment of $10,000 for five years. The applicant must be an NYS resident and has been in the state in the last 12 months. They also must have graduated from an institution in NYS and make the application within two years after completing school.
- Bachelor of Science Nursing Loan Repayment Program. The grant is available in the state of California for a registered nurse with a BSN degree. It offers $10,000 to repay student loans, under the condition that the RN will provide their services in a Californian health facility for a year, working a minimum of 32 hours a week
- Veterans’ Home Medical Providers’ Loan Repayment Program. It is a grant established by the state of Illinois. It is an incentive that if offered to medical professionals to continue or begin their service in Illinois state veteran’s homes. The grant is for physicians, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, certified nurse practitioners, and practical nurses. Its annual amount of $5,000 is payable for four years.
- Delaware State Loan Repayment Program. It is a grant provided by the state of Delaware. The objective of the grant is to create a healthier community by retaining and hiring healthcare professionals to practice in both the urban and rural settings. It provides up to $100,000 to the primary care, dental and mental health professionals in exchange for two consecutive years of service in the facilities within the state of Delaware that are experiencing a shortage of staff.
- Military College Loan Repayment Program. The congress established this program under the GI Bill. It grants the resources to pay for the education of the military personnel once they have completed their term of duty. It settles the student debts for up to$65,000 for those that enlisted in the army after completing their college education. The full amount of $65,000 for the active army and navy recruits, Army and Navy reserves get $20,000.
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. It is a grant for a person whose parent or guardian died when providing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan. The grant pays off the beneficiary’s student loan. For one to be eligible, they must have been under 24 years during the time of the death of the parent or guardian.
- Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program. It is a grant that is offered to healthcare professionals that choose to work in the military. Those that enlist in the army are offered $40,000 annually for three years to repay their student loans.
Students are welcome to try the Scholarships and grants provided here, and search for many others online since there are varieties that serve different per purposes based on the providers needs. Do not become a debt victim by taking excess loans to finance your education.