In today’s world a high school diploma or GED is simply not enough anymore and education grants can help you take your education further. Standards for hiring and quality of pay have been steadily changing over the past few decades, trending towards a new economic reality.
Whereas before it was easy to find yourself a skilled laborer job, or work as a receptionist without much, if any, higher education, competition for these jobs is so stiff today that many applicants who previously would have been qualified are being passed over in favor of those with a college degree.
If you want to stay competitive in the new global economy you’re going to need more than just a high school diploma or GED. To enjoy the same quality of life enjoyed by generations passed you’re going to need some form of higher education. Higher education doesn’t always have to mean a four-year bachelor’s degree though. Even a two-year associate’s degree will help elevate your above the fray of other applicants, increasing your visibility to employers by showing that you have pursued some sort of post-secondary education.
Why Education Matters
Many employers are no longer willing to hire applicants who show they haven’t pursued their education past high school. Not only is this because of the need to select the absolute best from an increasingly high volume of applicants but also many jobs are now becoming much more technically oriented, requiring further education to be fully qualified for employment.
The High Cost of Higher Education
The problem that many people run into is that they haven’t been adequately prepared for the financial demands of higher education. With college tuitions rising across the country, paying for school can seem like a daunting task. It is this financial burden that keeps many people from being able to pursue a degree and therefore, keeps them from finding a good paying job with which they can support themselves and their family.
Thankfully, both private investors and government entities are fully aware of this economic reality and the pace of inflation in college tuition is being kept up with by the number and availability of education grants.
Everyone Has an Agenda
Private investors understand that it is in in their best interest that you, their potential future worker, are as best educated as can possibly be. Business owners and financial engineers want to flood the workplace with highly educated applicants because they know that if they invest in your education early on you will make a good worker and pay that money back in spades by doing good work for their company.
Therefore, it is mutually beneficial to both management and labor to have a better educated workforce so private investors are willing to put some of their disposable income towards a worthy cause, knowing that not only are they helping those in need but they are potentially helping themselves in the future by ensuring that there will be a high volume of well-educated qualified applicants. Government invests in education grants based on these same principles.
Governments understand that the strength of their economy comes from the strength and quality of their workforce. Especially in this pivotal moment at the dawn of the 21st century governments understand that without a well-educated workforce it will be difficult, if not impossible, to stay competitive in today’s cutthroat global economy.
That being said, governments are willing to give qualified citizens the tools they need to pursue their education and someday be a product part of their economy. These tools generally come in the form of education grants.
Grants vs. Loans
The great thing about education grants is that they do not have to be paid back. They are essentially free money provided by private investors or government entities. Why would anyone give away money for free? Well, because they are banking on the assumption that this money will be repaid by the recipient of the funds, not directly through a payment system as is the case with student loans but by being a productive member of the workforce and contributing to the economic growth of the region or business.
That being said, education grants are a great way to help finance your higher education without finding yourself drowning in a sea of debt after you receive your degree.
Limited by Debt
Many people who have taken very high amounts of student loans also find that they are unable to pursue a job in the career or field they truly want to because with such a high amount of money to pay back they are forced to take any job they can get just to make sure they have income and can pay back the loans.
Otherwise they risk causing irreparable harm to their credit rating, leading to a whole host of other problems later in life when they wish to finance a vehicle, get a mortgage for a home or start a business.
With education grants you are free to pursue a career in the field you wish without your student loan debt hanging over your head like a financial Sword of Damocles, forcing you into accepting any job so long as the pay is decent.
Competition for Grants
While the competition for grants is a bit stiffer, there are many avenues that one can take to make sure that you receive some financial assistance with your education. It should be understood that grants are always going to be harder to receive than loans.
Student education loans are there so that any person, regardless of socio-economic class, ability, location or outlook can receive some form of assistance in paying for their education.
Knowing What You Want to Do
Nearly anyone can apply for a student loan and be approved. The problem is that since nearly anyone can be approved many people with low motivation find themselves halfway through their education and decide that what they are doing isn’t for them, leaving their degree unfinished with tens or even thousands of dollars in loans to pay back with nothing to show for it.
Grants are set up to be awarded to those students and potential students who show that they have an inordinate amount of motivation and are deserving of a leg up in the world of higher education. The reason that grants are harder to receive is that they are a higher risk investment. Governments know that one way or another, student loans must be, and are going to be repaid because of the loan agreement signed by the recipient of funds.
Idea of Grant Payback
Grants on the other hand are given out with the idea that the money will be paid back indirectly by the recipient through a lifetime of contribution to the economy.
However, since there is no explicit guarantee that the money will be repaid as it is possible for a recipient to use the money and perhaps not finish school or enter into a line of work that doesn’t have direct benefit for the financier or the loan, grants will always require those who apply for them to go through a much more stringent qualification process.
Qualifying for Grants
While the process for applying for loans can be very stringent, qualifying for application is usually fairly easy. There are education grants that are specifically catered to people from all walks of life, interested in all sorts of fields of study and in nearly every socio-economic class. Let’s say that you’re a young inner city youth who is imbued with a love of mechanics and would like to pursue a career in mechanical engineering, or aeronautical engineering. You’ll find that there are a vast number of resources online tailored to those who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering. You are sure to recognize the names of the some of the organizations who fund these grants.
For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA offers education funding to those who are interested in this field of study. NASA funds a program known as the NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program which provides up to $15,000 of tuition assistance to undergraduate students per year, $11,000 worth or tuition assistance to graduate students as well as a $35,000 cost of living stipend for up to three years.
While this amount certainly won’t pay for the entirety of your education, it certainly takes a decent sized chunk out of it and every little bit helps. As an undergraduate student that’s an extra $15,000 per year that stays in your pocket without coming out of student loans.
You’ve Qualified, Now What?
Now let’s say that you’ve qualified for this grant or another like it but are still in need of more financial assistance. Well, taking into account your socio-economic background you will find education grants online that are set up just for you. Perhaps you were a stellar athlete in high school and came from a low-income background.
The PeyBack Foundation, established in 1999 by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Payton Manning provides financial assistance to at risk youth with a love of athletics that wish to pursue higher education. With so many ways to qualify for free financial assistance nearly anyone can follow their dreams and receive assistance paying for an education that will help place them in a career they love, without having to saddle themselves with quite as much debt as people who don’t know, or don’t believe that they qualify for education loans.
Education Grants for Women
College campuses are no longer the boy’s club that they once were, even as late as the turn of the 20th century. Today women are empowered by their liberated role in society and are free to pursue an education that will lead them to a career they love.
Whereas not much more than one hundred years ago the majority of college professors were middle-aged white men, today the make-up of faculties at universities across America is much more diverse, to the extreme benefit of the country as a whole.
Because of this change in the college demographic it is now easier than ever for women to finance their education and help themselves work towards a career that they love. No longer are women disregarded on college campuses, marginalized when they expressed interested in post-secondary education or simply denied the opportunity to better themselves and their economic situation through higher education.
A Diverse World Opens Doors
On the contrary, in the 21st century, and even as far back as the mid-20th century, there are a variety of grant programs dedicated to make sure that intelligent and motivated young women have the tools to finance their education and provide for themselves and their families the quality of life they expect.
There are education grants available to women of all walks of life, interested in all manner of degree program. The glass ceiling in the work place for women has long been shattered and women can now pursue careers in fields that were once stereotyped as exclusively male, be that engineering, business, finance, scientific research or academics.
A Wide Range of Opportunity
Again it is worth noting that not only can young women find grants based off the fact that women have historically met with resistance when attempting to enter the work force or the world of higher education but also can find education grants tailored to what specific field they wish to study in. If you are a young women who is interested in a pursuing a career in finance, there are a host of other resources online that will help you find a grant based on your desire to work in the world of finance.
With so many different ways to find education grants based on so many different factors, it is possible to qualify for a number of different grants and receive funding for your education for numerous sources, greatly reducing the cost you will have to pay out of pocket and helping you prosper later in life when you receive your degree and don’t have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in high interest loans to pay back.
Applying For a Grant
As previously mention, applying for a grant is a much more complicated process then applying for a loans. Student education loans are essentially freely available to anyone who applies for them because when you have to sign a document agreeing to pay back to loans over a certain amount of time.
Therefore the financier of the loan, usually a state or federal government is guaranteed repayment, otherwise you’re looking at unpleasant legal actions, not to mention a severely crippled credit score.
With grants, since there is no explicit, legal guarantee of repayment the process for applying for a grant is much more stringent. It is very easy to quality, as we’ve discussed. There are grant programs relating to all manner of persona factors, be it socio-economic background, race, gender, personal interests or intended field of study. However, once you find a grant that you qualify for you’ll need to go through the application process.
Making Your Goals Clear
If you are applying for a grant intended for young women wishing to study and work in the field of computer science if will not be enough to simply be a young women interested in that particular line of work. Usually, you’ll need to write a proposal of some sort, stating your qualifications for the grant, you reason for applying and why you feel that it is in the best interest of the grant provider that they award the grant to you.
The first step in apply for any kind of financial aid, whether it is a federal loan, Pell Grant, or private scholarship is the fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The FAFSA is the spark that sets the engine in motion on the grant application process. It allows prospective financiers of your education to view your economic needs, which will help you come to a decision about whether or not they are to award financial assistance to you.
The Application Process
Applying for a grant can be a long, complicated and frustrating process but in the end you’ll be glad you did it. Sure, you’ll probably have to spend hours upon hours filling out forms, writing proposals, crafting personal essays and pleading your case to someone who potentially holds your future in their hands but this is all part of the process.
Besides, if you’re the type of person that is interested in pursuing higher education, you’re going to have to get used to working hard to put yourself through school, not just convincing people to help finance your education but also to do well in your classes and graduate with an adequate GPA.
How Grants Benefit Your Post-Education Life
How many people do you know with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree that are working a job they hate just so they can pay of their loans? How many well-educated, well-qualified individuals do you know that are working a job well below their skill set just because they have to make sure they can make ends meet and repay their debts?
Is this the life you want for yourself after college, or graduate school? Wasn’t being able to work a job you enjoy while providing for yourself and perhaps a family the whole reason you pursued higher education in the first place? Then do yourself a favor and apply for as many scholarships and grants as you possibly can.
As we’ve discussed there are grants, basically free money, available to all manner of person, interested in all manner of career field, available to anyone with the drive to do well for themselves and their families in life. These grants allow you to pursue your education and stay competitive in today’s cut throat job market without resigning yourself to a lifetime of debt.
Think of how liberating it will feel to receive your degree without a massive debt hanging over you.
Your credit will thank you and you’re going to be more likely to get a car loan, a home loan or a business loan. You’ll be able to pursue a job in the field of your dreams without having to settle for the first job that comes along just so you know that you’ll be able to make payments on your student loans. You’ll also find that with less debt, you’re more likely to take your education further, past undergraduate education because you are confident in your financial footing.
Winning by Being Debt Free
By taking your education further and keeping yourself as debt free as possible you’re ensuring a stable, productive future for yourself. For all these reasons and more it is plain to see that finding education grants for which you qualify is not only possible, but really quite easy and is a great way to finance not just your education but also a better life for yourself in the future.