If you’re exploring your financial assistance options, grants are a great way to get help paying for your tuition, fees, books, meals, and other college expenses. However before you decide on a grant and begin applying for it, you should do sufficient research.
The research is essential because it tells you what grants are available, how much they offer, what the eligibility requirements are, and if the company or organization giving out the grant is a reputable source for grant money.
1. Research The Grant Source
The first step to researching a specific grant is considering the source. Is it a reputable organization or corporation? You should find out as much as you can from the source. Not only does this tell you more about where the money is coming from, but knowing more about their organization can help you with applying and hopefully receiving the grant.
Some organizations might be more willing to give the grant to someone in the same industry as them, so if this is along with your interests, it’s a good grant to apply for.
2. Get References And Referrals
Before conducting your own research of the organization or when looking for grants, ask for references and referrals. Contacting someone who has previously applied for grants will have the inside track to great organizations offering grants to people like you. These are the types of referrals that will benefit you because much of the research has already been done.
When researching organizations giving out the grants, it also helps to know someone who has applied or received one from the same organization as another way to get a good reference for them.
3. Internet Research
When it comes time to research different grants available for you, the Internet is the best place to start. This is because it can be done quickly and effectively. You will be able to research different corporations and organizations, as well as find lists of available grants. You will also be able to find websites listing all of the grants available for the next year or so in one place which cuts your research time significantly.
Once you have compiled a list of potential grants to apply for, you will then conduct research on the specific grant, the organization or firm giving it way, their history with the grant, and other information you find useful.
4. Research Eligibility
The last thing you should research is what type of eligibility requirements this specific grant has. It might only be open to certain degrees or majors, while others are strictly for people at a low income level.
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