Paying for university or college is difficult. With the many bills to pay and the meager pay rates that’s standard in today’s economic crisis, it’s almost impossible for parents to scrounge up enough cash to pay for their kids’ tuition fees.

But parents will do anything to get their kids through college. Everyone knows that a college education will get one far in life, in his career and personal affairs. A college education is one of the most valuable investments parents can pass on to their kids.

If you’re a high school graduate, or if you have a child who is about to graduate from high school, and you want to find out how you can pay for a college degree without selling your soul to the devil, there are a couple of options for you. A good financial planning is one of these options, which means you must plan ahead, save money monthly for years, and keep working to set up a college fund. The other option is availing of federal grants or a scholarship.

A Grant Or Scholarship – What’s The Difference?

At first glance, grants and scholarship are almost the same. But there are differences between these two ways to get the education you want. The main difference between a grant and a scholarship is the restrictions involved in getting them. A scholarship has far more restrictions than a grant. Scholarships are also for specific academic or athletic categories, while grants are awarded to financial needy students only.
Both grants and scholarships are non-repayable, unlike a loan that you have to repay after a certain period or after you’ve graduated.

What Can You Do to Raise Your Chances of Getting a Grant or Scholarship

There are so many financially needy students around, and you can be sure that for every grant or scholarship offered, there are about a hundred applicants. But, you can raise your chances of being eligible for financial assistance getting good grades and increasing your GPA. Good grades prove to the providers that you are serious about your studies. Even if you’re not applying for academic scholarships, you can increase your chances of getting a grant by improving your grades. Having good grades also means you can enter any university, which makes it easier for the providers to set up your scholarship.

Grants for Financially Needy Students

Of course, what if your grades are not as high as those of the other students who want the same scholarship? You can still aim for federal grants! The government provides grant money for deserving students who are in dire need of financial assistance to enter college. This is called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. This institution will determine which students deserve financial aid for college. You can fill out a FAFSA form in your school or via the internet in the FAFSA website at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. This grant may be your chance to reduce the amount you will spend for college tuition fees.

If you’re looking for scholarships and grants, make sure you have the following: social security number; your latest W-2 forms and other records of money earned; federal Income tax return of your parents; permanent residence card if you’re a non-US citizen; and driver’s license.