12 Best Grants To Pay Off Student Loans This Year
Grants can provide financial relief for student loan debt, with some programs offering up to full loan forgiveness. Learn more about grants that can help you pay off your student loans.
Table of Contents
- Types of Grants To Pay Off Student Loans
- Federal Government Grants
- State & Local Grants
- Private / Nonprofit Grants
- How to Apply for Grants To Pay Off Student Loans
- Grants Alternatives
- Final Thoughts
Student loan debt is an issue that can have a lasting impact on individuals’ ability to save, invest, and achieve other financial goals. Fortunately, there are grants available to help people pay off their student loans and reduce the amount of debt they owe. Grants provide a great opportunity for individuals to settle their student loans and make progress toward securing their financial freedom. In this guide, we provide you with 12 grants to pay off student loans.
Types of Grants To Pay Off Student Loans
There are several types of grants to help you pay off your student loans. These include federal government grants, state & local grants, as well as private or non-profit grant programs. Each type of grant typically has different eligibility requirements, so it’s important to research the options available to you in order to determine which one is right for your situation.
Federal Government Grants
Federal government grants are one of the most popular ways to pay off student loan debt. Government grants are funds given out by the federal government or other organizations that do not have to be repaid. Consider any one of the following options.
#1 College Access Challenge Grant
The College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) is a federal grant program that provides funds to states and other organizations for the purpose of increasing college access, especially among underserved populations. To be eligible for this grant, students must demonstrate financial need, academic achievement, and/or community service. The pros of this program are that it offers financial support and is open to a wide range of students. The cons include complex eligibility requirements and limited funding.
#2 Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a financial aid program for students enrolled in undergraduate courses and who demonstrate need. It does not have to be repaid and can cover up to the full cost of attendance. Eligibility includes U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizen status, enrollment in an eligible program at an accredited college or university, as well as a demonstration of financial need. There are limits to how much a student can receive over their lifetime.
#3 Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is a program that provides financial assistance to individuals pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in education. The TEACH Grant offers up to $4,000 per year for students enrolled in eligible educational programs at accredited universities. In general, this grant does not need to be repaid and there are no aggregate limits on how much a student can receive over their lifetime. The main condition to be aware of is that recipients have to sign an agreement to teach for four years at a low-income school. Fail to do this, and the grant will be converted into a loan that must be repaid.
#4 Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is designed to help students whose parents or guardians died due to service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. Eligibility requirements include being under 24, qualifying for financial need based on FAFSA information, and having a parent that was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who died as a result of service in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. This grant does not need to be repaid, has no aggregate limits and the amount is not dependent on other aid received. Having said that, this grant has to be applied for on an annual basis in order to receive the funds.
State & Local Grants
State and local governments have a number of programs that can help you pay off your student loans, including grants. These grants are typically need-based and may be used to cover a wide range of educational expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, and supplies. While there are a large number of grants available across the States, consider any one of the following grants available as a start.
#5 Chicago Community Loan Fund
The Chicago Community Loan Fund is a grant program that provides funding to low- and moderate-income individuals in the Chicago area. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate financial need and have been accepted into an accredited college or university. The main benefit of this program is that it can help cover expenses related to tuition, fees, books, and other educational costs. However, the amount of money awarded is typically limited and the application process can be lengthy.
#6 Los Angeles County College Access and Success Incentive Grant Program
The Los Angeles County College Access and Success Incentive Grant Program provides financial assistance to low-income students enrolled in college or trade school in Los Angeles County. To qualify for the grant, applicants must demonstrate financial need and have been accepted into an accredited college or trade school program. The main benefit of this program is that it can provide assistance with the cost of tuition and fees. However, applicants may be subject to additional eligibility requirements based on their individual circumstances.
#7 Maryland Tuition Relief Grant
The Maryland Tuition Relief Grant is a need-based grant offered to residents of the state of Maryland who are enrolled in an accredited college or university. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate financial need and have been accepted into an accredited institution. The main benefit of this program is that it can provide assistance with tuition and fees. However, the amount of money awarded is typically limited and may require additional documentation to demonstrate financial need.
#8 Oregon Opportunity Grant
The Oregon Opportunity Grant is a need-based grant program that provides funding for students who are enrolled in an accredited college or university in the state of Oregon. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate financial need and have been accepted into an accredited college or university. The main benefit of this program is that it can provide assistance with tuition, fees, books, as well as other educational costs. Having said that, applicants may be subject to additional eligibility requirements based on their individual circumstances.
Private / Nonprofit Grants
Unlike traditional student loan programs, which typically require repayment over an extended period, private and nonprofit grants often provide full or partial forgiveness of debt. Though these types of grants may be harder to qualify for and come with more specific requirements, they can provide a great opportunity to get your student loans paid off quickly and completely.
#9 Dell Scholars Program
The Dell Scholars Program offers recipients up to $20,000 for college tuition and expenses. To be eligible for this grant, applicants must have a minimum 2.4 GPA and demonstrate financial need, as well as be first-generation college students. The benefits of this award are that it’s renewable for up to five years, and includes the opportunity to participate in Dell’s online mentoring program.
#10 Gates Millennium Scholars Program
This grant is offered to qualified minority students and provides them with renewable scholarships of up to $10,000 per year. To be eligible for the program, applicants must be Pell Grant-eligible as well as demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, community service, and financial need. Pros include that it is a renewable scholarship that can cover up to the cost of tuition. Cons include that it is only available for minority students and does not cover other educational expenses.
#11 Goldman Sachs College Success Awards Program
The Goldman Sachs College Success Awards provides funding for college expenses such as books, housing, and transportation costs. To be eligible for this grant program, applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate financial need. Pros include that it can be used to cover a variety of college expenses, not just tuition costs. Cons include that the award amount is lower than other grants and only covers certain types of expenses.
#12 KFC Colonel's Scholars Program
This grant program offers up to $5,000 for college tuition and expenses. To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, financial need, and a desire to give back to their communities. Pros include that the award is renewable for up to four years. The limitation of this grant is that it requires a community service commitment in order to receive the scholarship.
How to Apply for Grants To Pay Off Student Loans
Here, we provide the general criteria that you can expect to find in order to apply for a grant.
The eligibility requirements for grants tend to vary based on factors such as the region you live in or your chosen field of study. Here are the general requirements needed to qualify for a grant.
- Demonstrate financial need
- Maintain a certain GPA, or meet specific academic requirements
- Be enrolled in an eligible degree program or field of study
- Meet application deadlines
- Comply with other restrictions set forth by the grant program
- Reside in an area where the grant is available (if applicable)
Steps to Apply
The process for applying for a grant to pay off student loans is typically straightforward. Generally, you need to complete an online application, provide supporting documents such as copies of your student loan statements and proof of income, and submit the application. Pay close attention to the grant deadlines, as many of them will require applications to be submitted by a certain date in order to qualify. Also, remember to make sure that all the information provided is accurate and up-to-date before submitting it.
When applying for a grant, in general, be prepared to provide the following personal and financial information/documentation that may include:
- Your full name
- Social Security Number
- Bank account numbers (if applicable)
- Tax return documents from the past two years
- A copy of your student loan statement
- Proof of income (pay stubs, job offer letter, etc.)
- Any other relevant documents or information.
Once submitted, the grant application is typically reviewed for accuracy and eligibility within a few days to weeks. The applicant will be notified if their application has been approved or denied. If your application is successful, then the grant amount will be disbursed in a lump sum or installments (depending on the program). Once you’ve received the grant award, make sure to follow all instructions and comply with the guidelines set forth by the granting organization. Remember that grants are often limited and prospective applicants must act quickly in order to secure funding.
Aside from grants, there are other alternatives that you may want to consider in order to pay off your student loans. These include refinancing your loans, income-driven repayment plans, and loan forgiveness. Each of these options has its own benefits and drawbacks so be sure to carefully evaluate them before making a decision.
Refinancing student loans
Refinancing is a popular option for those looking to pay off their student loans. It involves replacing your existing loan with a new one, usually at a lower interest rate. This can potentially save you money in the long run by lowering your monthly payments and reducing overall costs.
Following are some of the best refinancing companies in the U.S. that you can opt for.
|Lender||Scholaroo rating||Fixed rates starting (APR)||Variable rates starting (APR)|
Best for Low Interest Rates with DiscountsVisit website
Best for Flexible Repayment OptionsVisit website
Best for Refinancing Parent Plus LoansVisit website
Best for Refinancing without CosignerVisit website
Best for Mid-Income EarnersVisit website
ISL Education Lending
Best for In-School RefinancingVisit website
Best for Low Interest Rates with Discounts
Best for Flexible Repayment Options
Best for Refinancing Parent Plus Loans
Best for Refinancing without Cosigner
Best for Mid-Income Earners
ISL Education Lending
Best for In-School Refinancing
Income-Driven Repayment plans
Income-driven repayment plans are designed to help those with lower incomes manage their student loan payments. These plans tie your monthly payment to a percentage of your income, so the amount will adjust as needed over time.
Loan forgiveness is another form of assistance that can help pay off student loans. This involves having all or part of the remaining balance on your loan forgiven provided that you meet certain criteria, such as working in a specific field or making payments for a specific amount of time.
How do I pay off student loans if I’m broke?
If you are unable to make payments on your student loans, there are several options available that can help. Loan forgiveness programs, for example, can forgive all or part of the remaining balance if you meet certain criteria, such as working in a specific field. You could also consider deferring your student loans up until a time when you are in a better financial situation.
Can you pay off lump-sum student loans?
Yes, it is possible to pay off lump-sum student loans by making a one-time payment for the full balance due. This can be a good option for those with the financial means to do so, as it will reduce long-term costs and interest payments.
Can I get my student loan written off?
It is possible to get your student loan written off in certain circumstances, such as meeting specific requirements for public service or working in an eligible field of employment. Be sure to research all available options before making a decision.
When it comes to paying off student loans, there are several options available that should be considered carefully before making a decision. Grants can be a great option, so taking the time to evaluate your financial situation before applying for one is essential in finding an option that best suits your needs and helps you pay off student loans. The grants mentioned in this guide are just some of the many options available to help you pay off your student loans. Each program has its own set of requirements, so make sure to read all the details carefully before applying. It’s also important to note that most grants require you to demonstrate financial need and meet other specific criteria in order to qualify for the program. Ultimately it is up to you to decide which option best meets your needs, thereby helping you to achieve your goals.