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Best Grant Sources
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The Best Sources For Grants

The FAFSA is Key

The cornerstone to ANY grant or scholarship search is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You MUST complete the application and submit it to be considered for most government, public, and university programs. Put off the FAFSA and you risk missing the deadline and severing your chances of earning thousands of dollars in free college money. There is a Spanish FAFSA.

What are the FAFSA deadlines?

The federal FAFSA deadline is June 30 every year.

State deadlines vary. They may be earlier than June 30.

Bookmark the FAFSA site, download the form, fill it out completely, and submit it. The Department of Education publishes a step-by-step guide to completing the FAFSA—in Spanish and English—or you can ask your high school guidance or college financial aid counselor for assistance.

Federal and State

Federal and state government grant funds are most proactive in handing out need-based aid to minority and low-income students. In each case there are deeper socioeconomic and political purposes, but the intent is to build a larger more self-sustaining economy as well as nurture self-sustaining communities. Popular federal grants include:

  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • National SMART Grant

These are not earmarked for minorities, you say? These federal grant programs remain essential tools for minority students: statistics continue to show that the majority of the grant monies go to fund the educations of minority—and disabled—students. If you are a minority student, from a low-income household, you must consider the Pell Grant one of your greatest opportunities.

If you don’t apply or qualify for a Pell Grant then you are automatically shut out of the FSEOG, the AC Grant, and the SMART grant—they all require students to be Pell recipients.

Next Best Sources for Grants

Besides the wealth of the government, there are a few other very good resources for grant money:

  • Put minority foundations on your grant program checklist. Well-known organizations such as the United Negro College Fund, the Hispanic College Fund, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or the American Indian College Fund, all maintain grant and scholarship programs for ethnic minority students.
  • Learn how to identify grant programs that may be right for you from Corporate America. Competitive, but lucrative, grant programs are often launched by major corporations. Many stand committed to corporate diversity and spend millions of dollars supporting students,—just like you—ethnic and non-ethnic minorities.

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