Grants and Scholarships
After you've submitted your FAFSA, start looking into grants and scholarships. Sometimes referred to as 'gift-aid', grants and scholarships are types of financial aid that you typically do not have to repay. They are provided by the federal government, state government, colleges, and private organizations.
Helping You Pay for College Series: Scholarships and Grants
While the terms grants and scholarships are often used interchangeably, there is usually a difference between the two. Most grants tend to be need-based and are usually awarded based on you or your family's financial situation. Most scholarships tend to be merit-based and are usually awarded based on academic or athletic abilities. Some organizations will offer scholarships that are need-based, so check the requirements of each scholarship and grant during the application process.
Applying for scholarships is a lot like applying to college. The application process can include many of the same tasks. Make sure to keep essays, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and other important information handy. If you're unsure of your eligibility for a particular scholarship, contact the sponsor with questions.
Federal Pell Grants
For undergraduate students with financial need who have not earned a bachelor's, graduate or professional degree. Only under certain circumstances will a Federal Pell Grant need to be repaid.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
These grants are awarded to undergraduate students who show exceptional financial need. They are administered by the financial aid offices of each participating college. Not all colleges participate so be sure to check with your college's financial aid office. Federal Pell Grant recipients receive priority for this grant.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
These grants are for undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or graduate students who plan to become a teacher in a high-need field or in a low-income area. Participants must be enrolled in a TEACH-Grant-eligible program and meet certain academic achievement requirements (like maintaining a certain GPA). Be sure to contact the financial aid office at your college to find out the requirements of receiving this grant.
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants
For children of parents and guardians that died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11. Participants must be under 24 or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of their parent or guardian's death. Participants will need to complete the FAFSA form every year they are in school to remain eligible.
These state grants are need-based and available to undergraduate students enrolled without a previous bachelor's degree.
NC Education Lottery Scholarship
This grant is for North Carolina residents with financial need enrolled in an NC Community College or one of the 16 UNC system campuses. It is administered by the financial aid offices at these institutions.
NC Community College Grant
This grant is for North Carolina residents with financial need enrolled in an NC Community College.
UNC Need-Based Grant
This grant is for North Carolina residents with financial need enrolled in at least 6 credit hours at one of the 16 UNC system campuses.
NC Need-Based Scholarship
This grant is for North Carolina residents with financial need enrolled at least three-quarter time as undergraduate students at an eligible NC independent non-profit campus.