The Federal Pell Grant, now known as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) program awards monetary aid to undergraduate students who do not come from the family of the recipient. For undergraduate students, a “matching” formula is used to determine the amount awarded based on family income and assets. For married mothers, Pell Grants may be awarded to both the mother and the child. For unwed mothers, the only grant award is the Pell Grant.

A student must apply for both the Pell and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) student assistance programs. For Pell Grants, the student must be an undergraduate student at an eligible college. To apply for an EFC award, the student must be a resident of the United States who is a full time or part time student in an accredited college. The student must be enrolled in that college on at least a half-time basis and must be in good standing with his or her school. For students who are awarded the Pell Grant, the university usually requires that these individuals complete an additional semester of financial aid (this is called a “strings attached” scholarship).

Unlike student loans and other forms of financial aid, scholarship programs are generally awarded without regard to a student’s credit history, grade point average, good or bad credit, or specific types of high school courses taken. Students who are not currently attending college may apply for free or low cost money to help pay for their tuition, books, and other expenses. These opportunities are available for people of all ages and for different reasons. Students who are interested in receiving more federal student aid will find that these opportunities are much more prevalent today than they were in previous decades. Because the availability of more scholarships and more grants makes more people eligible to receive more assistance, the availability of scholarship funding has increased dramatically over the past decade.

In order to qualify for an academic scholarship, individuals must meet a certain set of requirements. For most scholarships, applicants must demonstrate a genuine financial need, as defined by the scholarship program, which may vary by type of scholarship. Students who are enrolled in post-secondary education programs (like college, trade school, university, or technical school) or who have earned at least a 2.5 GPA on all financial aid courses taken are typically considered to have a genuine financial need. However, there are some scholarships that specifically consider an individual’s academic achievements, professional pursuits, or personal interests when determining whether or not they qualify. You can get more information about thank you scholarship letter.

If awarded funds are not used to pay for tuition, books, room and board, or transportation, then a student can use the scholarship money towards other expenses. Scholarships can also be used to cover costs associated with registering for graduate school, and/or law school. Like student loan debt, scholarship funds do not have to be repaid. However, the amount awarded does need to be repaid after graduation, if the recipient is unable to find employment in the field for which the scholarship was originally awarded.

As is true with most types of financial aid programs, not all scholarship programs are offered nationwide. Each scholarship program has its own set of eligibility requirements, which may vary depending upon the type of scholarship and the institution awarding it. For instance, while every college may offer some general scholarship programs, the qualifications for each may differ. In addition, while every college may offer some scholarship programs that cover tuition, books, and room and board, other scholarship programs may only offer partial funding, and thus must be applied for separately. For students who are US citizens and enrolled in higher education programs that pay for room and board, the University of Michigan provides tuition assistance. For additional information on Michigan scholarship programs, please visit their website.

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