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What Are the Different Types of Community College Grants?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Community college grants can include federal grants, state or regional-issued funds, and scholarships awarded by the college or private agencies. Students should also look for any special one-time grants that may be available if they transfer to a four-year university after completing studies at a community college. The costs of attending a junior college are generally much lower, and overall grant totals are likely to be less than at other colleges. Moreover, the specific amounts awarded are highly dependent on the availability of regional, institutional, and private grants at each college.

In the US, one of the possible sources for community college grants is the federal government. Students with demonstrable financial need may be able to qualify for a Pell Grant, which may cover all or part of fees and some additional expenses. The US government may also have grants available for people who have served in the military. Another option for students at these institutions is work/study grants. Either on or off-campus work may entitle students to receive a certain amount of money when they participate in work/study programs.

Certain regions or states may also award college scholarships. Not all states do this, and they do not always give community college grants. Compared to grants for four-year schools, award amounts for community college are likely to be lower. It’s still important to check with a college’s financial aid office to determine if there are ways to receive a regional grant.

Some community college grants are available if the institution is substantially endowed. In a few areas, students may be geographically near several junior colleges, and they may want to choose a school based on its ability to offer the greatest amount in institutional grants. Of course, it’s also possible that several community colleges clustered together may not be very well endowed.

Another way to analyze this situation is to look at the chances of being awarded site-specific scholarships. In addition to any funds a university may possess to grant to students, there may be private scholarships open to attendees of a particular school. A college’s financial aid or scholarship office should be able to tell students about these opportunities.

Certain scholarships are not site-specific. Students may qualify for them based on merit, financial need, or both. These may be given locally, regionally or nationally. Students can look up community college grants of this type on scholarship websites or they may get help through school scholarship offices.

Since many students transfer to a four-year university, they should look for one-time grants they may receive the first year at a new school. These may come from states, the college, or private agencies. They are often very useful in meeting the higher costs associated with getting started at a university, and they may help defer taking student loans, thus lowering debt after finishing college.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

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Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
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