Grants are not available only to students pursuing bachelor’s degree programs. Students at community colleges can also qualify for grants based on their financial needs, despite the fact that community college tuition is often less than tuition rates at four-year colleges and universities. Community college grants are usually funded by federal and state organizations and aim to increase attendance and completion rates at community colleges. Some privately-funded grants may be available from companies hoping to increase the pool of qualified professionals in their industry.
The amount of funding awarded usually depends upon the student’s demonstrated financial need, the student’s contribution, the cost of tuition, the source of the grant, and other factors. These grants may range from $100 to thousands of dollars per academic year. In order to document your financial needs, most federal college grants require you to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Some community college grants are only available to students pursuing community or vocational college, but others are available for students attending any type of first undergraduate program. In general, you must demonstrate financial need to be eligible for most community college grants. But others may come with other eligibility requirements. For example, the California Student Aid Commission offers the Chafee Grant for Foster Youth only to students who are or were in foster care. Financial aid offices at community colleges provide detailed information about grants available through the college, many of which are federally and state funded.
Types of Community College Grants
- Alabama Student Assistance Program: Up to $2,500 per student is given through this Alabama program to state residents attending community colleges.
- Alliss Educational Foundation Grant: This Minnesota program is designed for adults who graduated from high school over seven years ago and have not earned postsecondary degrees.
- Cal Grants A, B, & C: California students can receive up to $12,192 for tuition, room and board, school supplies, books, or other expenses at California community colleges through the California Cash for College initiative.
- Chafee Grant: The Chafee Grant is one of the few California grants that offers up to $5000 per year to students pursuing career or technical college who were also in foster care at some point in their lives.
- College Access Program: Available to Kentucky residents, the CAP grant carries an award of up to $1,900.
- Colorado Student Grant: CSGs of $500-$1,500 are given to Colorado residents on a financial need basis.
- Florida Student Assistance Grant: This need-based grant features rewards between $200-$2,610 for community college students who are Florida residents.
- Frank O’Bannon Grant: Many of Indiana’s technical and community colleges offer this grant, formerly known as the Indiana Higher Education Grant, to Hoosier students.
- HOPE Grant: This Georgia grant covers tuition, fees, and $100 per quarter worth of books at the state’s technical schools.
- Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance Grant: The Rawlings EA Grant awards 60% of adjusted need to full-time community college students in Maryland.
- Illinois Monetary Award Program: MAP provides grants to Illinois students at approved community colleges with demonstrated financial need.
- Louisiana Go Grant: Students who live in Louisiana and who still have financial need after receiving a Pell Grant may apply for this grant, which has a maximum award of $3,000.
- NC Community College Grant Program: The College Foundation of North Carolina offers need-based grants to North Carolina residents enrolled in state community colleges.
- Texas Grant: The Texas Grant is a government funded grant program for students with financial needs attending a public community college or university in Texas, with awards up to $2,400.
- Virginia Community College System Tuition Grant: Virginia community college students who were in foster care or were special-needs adoptees at the time they graduated from high school may apply to have their tuition and fees covered by this grant.
- Washington State Need Grant: Currently, a maximum of $3,696 is available to a student from a low income family who is enrolled full-time at a community or technical college in the state.