In order to locate state grants, high school seniors, graduates, and college students should first look into their state’s Department of Higher Education. However, there are some things you should understand about grants before you get started on your search, like how they compare to loans. Here are some of the basics, plus a list of how to locate your state’s available grants with links.
What Are Grants for College Students?
Grants for college students are a form of gift aid that, in most cases, does not have to be paid back unlike loans. However, in some cases, if the student fails to meet the obligation or eligibility requirements of the grant, the money will have to be paid back. For example, if you accept the federal TEACH grant but do not complete your obligation of service after graduation, you will be required to pay the loan back plus interest.
Grants can be awarded based on demonstrated financial need as well as merit. The amount the grant gives depends on the individual program and your specific needs and/or achievements. Awards may also be available in your state for minorities, low-income students, those entering high-need fields, veterans, active service members, those with disabilities, and those in foster care.
Grants can be offered by the federal government, state, private organizations, and schools.
How Can You Apply to State Grants?
Almost all state grants will require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible. This form will also be used to determine your eligibility for college-based financial aid programs, federal financial aid, and loans.
How Can You Locate State Grants for Colleges?
For most students, you can simply Google for state grants, or you can head over to your state’s Department of Higher Education. These departments tend to have detailed instructions and information on their offers. Almost all states offer at least one grant to their residents, but there are exceptions, and just because one state offers a program does not mean another does the same. These programs widely vary.
A Comprehensive List of State Grant Options
Use the list below to find out what your state offers and where you can find out more information:
- Alabama Commission on Higher Education. Alabama offers a number of grants available to students, including the Alabama Student Assistance Program.
- Alaska Commission on Post Secondary Education. Alaska recently started a new program with CampusDoor.
- Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education. Arizona offers the Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (AZLEAP).
- Arkansas Department of Higher Educational. Arkansas has amazing resources to find grants and scholarships.
- California Student Aid Commission. Cal Grants are for recent graduates and high school seniors.
- Colorado Department of Higher Education and Colorado College. Colorado offers need-based grants to students.
- Connecticut Office of Higher Education. Connecticut offers financial aid options to students, including the Roberta B. Willis Need-Merit Scholarship program.
- Delaware Department of Education. The Delaware.gov site has a list of a number of financial aid options for students.
- Florida Department of Education. Florida has a few great financial aid programs, including the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.
- Georgia Student Finance Commission. The state of Georgia has several scholarships and grants available.
- Hawaii. Hawaii does not have a department of higher education but does have quite a few grants available.
- Idaho State Board of Education. Idaho offers the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship that is need-based and requires a minimum cumulative GPA.
- Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Illinois has programs such as the Monetary Award Program and Illinois National Guard Grant Program.
- Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Programs in Indiana include the 21st Century Scholarship, EARN Indiana, and the Adult Student Grant.
- Iowa College Aid. Programs in Iowa include the Iowa Tuition Grant, Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship, and more.
- Kansas Board of Regents. There are a number of grants available in Kansas including the Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant.
- Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. Kentucky has quite a few programs available to students including the College Access Program Grant.
- Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance. The state of Louisiana has the Tops program (with several awards under this umbrella) and other available grants and financial aid options.
- Finance Authority of Maine. Maine’s website contains information on grants, scholarships, and financial aid.
- Maryland Higher Education Commission. Maryland has virtual appointments available for any questions as well as several need-based grants and scholarships.
- Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Aid Assistance. Massachusetts offers financial aid resources, grants, scholarships, and more on their website.
- Michigan.gov. MI Student Aid has the Children of Veterans Tuition Grant, Fostering Futures Scholarship, and more.
- Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Minnesota’s website highlights their grants and application processes.
- Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid. Mississippi offers a few grants including the Mississippi Tuition Assistance grant.
- Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. Missouri does not currently offer any grants or scholarships, but they are reviewing program options.
- Montana. Montana does not currently have any state-specific grant programs.
- Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. Nebraska has a number of grants available including the Nebraska Opportunity Grant.
- Nevada. The state of Nevada does not currently offer any grants.
- New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation. New Hampshire website has scholarship search tips and tools, as well as information on the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for publicly available scholarships.
- New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority. The state of New Jersey offers information on grants, scholarships, and the NJ Dreamers program.
- New Mexico Higher Education Department. New Mexico offers a number of programs, grants, and scholarships to students.
- New York Higher Education Services Corporation. The Tuition Assistance Program is the largest grant program in New York, but there are other options.
- North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. North Carolina has tips for applying to college, a list of scholarships, and available forgivable loans.
- North Dakota University System. The State Financial Assistance Program is offered in North Dakota.
- Ohio Higher Ed. Choose Ohio First, Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program, and Ohio College Opportunity Grant are just a few options offered by the state.
- Oklahoma College Start. Oklahoma’s website offers advice for college planning, financial aid tips, and information on their scholarships and grants.
- Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Oregon has a few programs including the Oregon opportunity Grant and Oregon Promise Grant.
- Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Pennsylvania hosts the PA State Grant Program.
- Rhode Island College Planning Center. Rhode Island State Grants are granted directly through colleges in the state.
- South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. South Carolina hosts a wide variety of grants, scholarships, and tuition assistance programs.
- South Dakota Board Of Regents. South Dakota offers the Need Based Scholarship Program through participating colleges and universities.
- Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Student Assistance Corporation. The state of TN has several awards, scholarships, programs, and grants to help students afford college.
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Texas offers the Toward Excellence, Access and Success (TEXAS) Grant, Texas Educational Opportunity Grant, and more.
- Utah System of Higher Education. Utah has the Utah Promise Scholarship (need-based), Opportunity Scholarship (academic), and more.
- Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Vermont has grants available for full-time students, part-time students, and more.
- State Council for Higher Education for Virginia. Virginia offers the Commonwealth Award, Guaranteed Assistance Program, and more to students.
- Washington Student Achievement Council. The state of Washington offers the Washington College Grant and financial aid programs.
- Washington, DC. Washington DC offers the DC Tuition Assistance Grant for residents.
- College For West Virginia. The state of West Virginia has the Promise Scholarship, Invests Grant, and more for students.
- Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board. Several grants are available in Wisconsin including the Wisconsin Grant, Talent Incentive Program Grant, and Indian Student Assistance Grant.
- Wyoming Memorial Scholarship. Wyoming offers a few programs to students including the Douvas Memorial Scholarship.
If you have any questions about your state’s grant and scholarship options, you may want to reach out to your school. They can help direct you to the correct location for further details and information.
Are you on the lookout for grants and scholarships to help fund your education? Our Scholarship Search Tool can help make the search a breeze.