You’ve chosen your major and found a few colleges and universities that you’re interested in, but now you must figure out how you will afford the costs of high tuition, room and board, and books.
One of the first things you should consider is applying for grants and financial aid.
Even students who feel their income or their parent’s income is too high to receive assistance may be awarded aid.
Unlike loans, grants are basically free money that you do not have to pay back. And unlike scholarships, they’re not based on a special talent, interest, or academic performance alone.
The amount of aid you’ll receive from a grant will be based on your income and financial need.
Learn more about college grants, how to find New Jersey college grants, and where to find experienced college planning specialists to help you afford college education costs.
What are college grants?
A college grant is a form of financial aid, typically awarded by the government or a private organization, that does not have to be repaid by the student.
Grants are usually awarded based on financial need, academic performance, and other criteria.
Some examples of college grants include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, state-funded grants, institution-specific grants, and private grants.
Federal Pell Grant
This is a need-based grant awarded by the federal government to undergraduate students with financial needs.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This is another need-based grant awarded by the federal government to undergraduate students with exceptional financial needs.
Many states offer grants to resident students attending college within the state. These grants may be based on financial need, academic achievement, or other criteria.
Some colleges and universities offer grants to their own students, which may be based on financial aid, academic achievement, or other criteria.
Some private organizations, foundations, or companies also offer grants to college students which may be based on a specific field of study, ethnicity, or gender.
It’s important to keep in mind that grants and scholarships may have specific eligibility criteria and application deadlines, so be sure to read the fine print carefully and submit your application on time.
You should also try to apply for multiple grants for your best chances. It’s also recommended to apply for what you can qualify for and as many as you can.
How to find New Jersey college grants, and how to apply?
There are several ways to find college grants in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) offers a variety of grants and scholarships for students attending college in the state.
Visit their website for grant applications and to learn more about the different programs available, such as the NJ Dreamers program.
The federal government also offers grants to New Jersey students.
The Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant are two examples of grants available to students across the country, including those attending college in New Jersey.
Check with the financial aid office of the college or university you plan to attend. They may have information about grants and scholarships that are specific to their institution or that are available to students in your major or area of study.
College planning specialists can also help you find and apply for different grants and scholarships.
Look for private scholarships offered by organizations, foundations, and companies. They may have specific criteria that align with your background, major, or interest.
How to apply for New Jersey college grants
In any state, to apply for college grants you’ll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
You can also visit the website of the Department of Education in your state to learn more about the different grants and scholarships they offer.
Once you find grants and scholarships that you may qualify for and figure out their deadlines you may need the following information:
- License or I.D.
- Social security card or birth certificate
- Financial information
- Your academic record
- One or two letters of recommendation
- An essay or personal statement
- Your parent’s financial information
Reach out to professional college planning specialists
Parents and college-bound students who are on the lookout for New Jersey College grants would benefit from reaching out to experts and professionals.
Guidance counselors, financial aid advisors, and college planning specialists can assist you in finding grants, scholarships, and loans to help fund your education.
The cost of a college education is obviously not cheap—it makes sense to find and use all possible resources to make it more affordable.
College Benefits Research Group offers virtual workshops to help you choose the college of your dreams, plan for your educational journey, and learn new ways to afford your tuition.
We can also teach you how to apply for grants, scholarships, and loans and how to write an appeal letter for additional aid.
When applying for financial aid and grants, the sooner you apply the better, so reach out for help long before deadlines are approaching. Some schools have limited funds, and waiting too long will decrease your chances of being offered an award.
Contact us with any questions or concerns regarding your college education and sign up for the virtual webinar that is most convenient for you.