What are Government Education Grants?

Erin J. Hill

Government education grants are forms of financial aid designed to help students cover the costs of higher education. The way in which a student qualifies for such a grant is generally dependent on income, but other types of grants may be available in certain areas. Government education grants must be applied for in the proper manner in order for a student to qualify to receive any money.

Students typically have to apply for financial aid to be considered for a government education grant.
Students typically have to apply for financial aid to be considered for a government education grant.

In order to apply for government education grants, students generally have to fill out a tuition assistance form. This can normally be found on a financial aid website, but seeing a school official is the best way to determine where and how to fill out the forms. Assistance forms will ask several questions, all of which must be answered as accurately as possible.

Once a student’s application has been filled out in its entirety and sent to the government agency responsible for processing government education grants, it will be looked over and compared to official financial documents for accuracy. These documents can include recent tax returns and other government acquired documents. Often information such as Social Security numbers and legal names will also be checked.

If for any reason the tuition assistance form can’t be accepted, whether due to misinformation or missing information, it may be sent back to the student for corrections. Often, the form will need to be signed and sent back with any corrections being made, along with the proper documentation proving the information is accurate. This may include tax forms, bank statements or records of income.

When all information has been cleared, the national government or department of education determines which government education grants a student is eligible to receive. Income-based grants will depend on finances, with more needy students receiving more than higher income students. Some students will not be eligible for anything at all. Local government grants may have to be applied for separately.

Most grants must be spent on educational purposes only. This includes tuition, books, materials and any equipment needed. If any money remains after these things are paid for in full, the school may issue a refund check to the student for the remaining amount. Generally, it is requested that students use this money on housing, costs of living, or other necessities. To be sure refunds are spent appropriately, it is important to speak with a financial aid official to learn any requirements.

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