A state-sponsored grant is a type of financial aid specifically for students attending college in their home state. Grants are a gift of money; generally, they do not have to be paid back.
State-sponsored grants must be used towards qualified expenses that pay for attaining a college degree or career training. To obtain a state-sponsored grant, you start by filing a FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is required for state financial aid as well as for federal student aid. Once you have maxed out your federal financial aid, apply for relevant state-sponsored grants and scholarships created for students in your state.
Types of State-Sponsored Grants
There are many state-sponsored grant programs designed to help specific types of students get financial aid based on their different needs. Some of the most common types of grant programs are tailored for the needs of:
- Minority and female students
- Financially needy students
- Students pursuing careers in service fields with high demand
- Students pursuing a specific degree type
- Students attending a certain type of school, such as vocational, community, or private college
Information on State-Sponsored Grants in Your State
To find information on the financial aid and state-sponsored grants offered by your home state, try your local library. You can also go right to the source by finding your state’s higher education agency on the State Higher Education Agencies website, which provides contact information for the higher education department of every U.S. state.
Once you’ve been accepted into a college or university, talk to your financial aid office about state-sponsored grants and scholarships that may pertain to you.
Examples of State-Sponsored Grant Programs
The following grant programs are examples of state-sponsored grants offered in Arizona, Maryland and Texas. The programs are limited to students or potential students who reside and planning to attend school in those states.
- Arizona Postsecondary Education Grant Program (PEG): for financially needy students with plans to pursue a baccalaureate degree at a private college or university. The grant awards a maximum of $2000 a year.
- Maryland Part-Time Grant: for part-time undergraduates who prove financial aid. Grant awards between $200-$2000.
- Texas Public Educational Grant: for Texas-resident students with financial need. Award amounts vary depending on the school and the student’s specific financial need.
For more details on your eligibility and the application process for these and other state-sponsored grant programs, find your state’s higher education agency on the State Higher Education Agencies website and give them a call.
Don’t Miss Out on State-Sponsored Grants – It’s Free Money!
Arranging to pay for a higher education is a challenging task for most students and their families, but financial aid, both federal and state, is available. No students should pass up the opportunity for state-sponsored grants, particularly since grants do not have to be repaid. File a FAFSA in order to get as much federal funding as you can and then look into the state-sponsored grants your home state offers. In these economic times, it’s an effort you won’t regret.