College grants help fund the education of about six million students in the United States every year. In many ways college grants are the lifeblood of an increasingly expensive higher education in America.

By the standards of the rest of the world an American education is really quite affordable. That’s why so many international students choose to study here. And, although most of them must pay their own way, there are college grants available to them as well.

The Fulbright program was started after WWII. The college grants were created as a two-way educational and cultural exchange among some of the very best minds in the world.

The more common college grants, of course, are targeted toward a wide variety of different types of students. For instance, the Pell Grant is designed for low-income students and/or those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Fully ninety percent of Pell Grant recipients come from families where the annual household income is less than $41,000.

Many grants are targeted toward minority students as well, particularly African-Americans and Hispanics. The United Negro College Fund is one of the biggest funders for black students while there are a plethora of special programs aimed at Hispanic students. Many of the largest are located in states with large Hispanic populations—states like California, Florida, Texas and Arizona.

As the number of women in college increases there are more and more college grants specifically for women. Women are now at about fifty eight percent of all those applying for college. Some college grants take into consideration the fact that women often have special challenges such as family responsibilities.

To expand on this idea one has to acknowledge the growing and increasingly influential role of online education. College grants for online education are expanding rapidly and this is a wonderful option for the non-traditional student who may want to complete his education, for example, at odd hours when the kids are already in bed.

While college grants for an online education would be just one source of funding, you should keep an open mind and keep looking. Apply to lots of different college grant sources and make sure to accurately fill out all the required information. If possible have a friend or parent proofread everything to eliminate mistakes that could cost you the opportunity to cash in on lucrative college grants.

Many states have great programs for college grants. One of the best and most comprehensive is the Cal-Grant program available to all California students who qualify. Most students use these college grants for tuition at California State University schools or University of California schools. There is even up to $8,000 available for use at a private school and $2,500 for community college tuition.

One of the best things about college grants is they can leave you debt-free after college. A loan may seem like a good idea at the time, but a college grant can leave you free of the burden of having to pay anything back.

Government Grants.

Corporate scholarships.

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