If you haven’t heard already, grants are beneficial in funding a college education.  College carries a big sticker price and “free money” certainly helps to alleviate the worry.  You don’t have to pay grants back, which is why they are often called “gift aid.”  The major way to get your hands on this money is by completing your FAFSA to get federal grants and other government aid.  But there are so many other places to obtain financial aid for college, and we’ll talk about those here.  Grant money comes from many different places and is given for various reasons.

Group Affiliation

Certain grants recognize those who have been members of and/or served a particular service or group.  One such grant is the Illinois Veterans’ Grant (IVG).  The IVG provides grant money to cover tuition to military veterans from Illinois who are attending participating in-state colleges.  Certain guidelines do apply, such as: living in Illinois six months prior to military deployment and returning to the state within six months of discharge, must be honorably discharged from duty and have a minimum of one full year of active duty served.

Members of the Methodist church may also be eligible to receive Harry R. Kendall Leadership Development Grants, which provide up to $2,000 per recipient.  Requirements for receipt of this grant include: studying to enter or already practicing in the medical field, U.S. citizenship (preferably African American descent), financial need, 3 positive recommendations and proof of college enrollment.

Talents and Interests

Grants are available for just about any hobby and ability under the sun.  One such grant is The Carole Fielding Student Grant.  This grant is geared towards those with an interest in filmmaking.  Group membership is required for eligibility for this grant, as candidates must be sponsored by a faculty member who is part of the University Film & Video Association (UFVA).  Both undergraduate and graduate students are considered and may compete in any of 5 production proposal categories or the research project category.  Applicants must include a one-page description of the project, resume, statement from sponsoring faculty and a budget.  Applications also include 30 minute narratives, 60 minute documentaries and scripts or storyboards.  If applying in the research category, the student must include methodology and relationship between the proposed project and previous research in the field.  Production applicants may receive up to $4,000 and research applicants may get $1,000.

If math and problem solving are more your forte, the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society may have an opportunity for you.  This society provides grant money to high school students and two-year college students who are members of the organization to participate in summer education programs.  This grant money is to be put towards tuition for university-sponsored summer math programs; it also covers expenses involved in conducting research projects in applied mathematics.  Students may receive up to $2,000 so long as they have been members since the previous semester.


Chances are good that if you are actively involved in groups and hobbies that you can get your hands on grant money.  The opportunities certainly aren’t limited to those discussed here.  In fact, it’s probably a good idea to check out some of these useful sites for even more ideas on how to obtain grant money.  Try stopping by the solutions center for additional advice as well.  Go Financial Aid wants to help you obtain financial aid and answer any questions we can, anytime!

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