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Perhaps you've heard the old cliche, "Education is expensive, but if you want something cheaper, try ignorance".

Actually this is one cliche that has been well worn and said over a million times, but it is still an unfortunate reality that painfully affects millions who wish to attend college..
These days, only a small percentage of students actually have parents who can readily afford their college education without shouldering an excessive financial burden. The more common scenario for youths today is having to work while studying at the same time, especially in college.

Most often the academic performances of these working students will suffer if they are not able to manage their time wisely. But, should we allow education to be an exclusive perogative only of the wealthy? The answer is, or should be, "Definitely not!"

It is meither good for the individual, nor for the society, for able people to be denied the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

That is why it is a good thing that so many free grant eduction opportunities exist. The purpose of a free grant or scholarship is to help students to sustain their college education by generating educational funds though easily attainable methods.

Free grants, unlike scholarships, are based on the individual student's specific need, if not a combination of needs and merits.

However, before you can get this privilege, you have to be sure that you are eligible for the opportunity. Basically, the existence of free grants for education benefits both the students elligible for them, and the institutions that are using available grant money to develop their curriculum, employ new faculties, and construct new facilities.

The difference of grants, as compared to scholarships and student loans, is that it is given to the recipient without any expectation of the student repaying it. Simply put, a "grant" is a monetary gift. A "scholarship" on the other hand, although still a monetary gift, is generally awarded according to academic merit.

Student loans, the third common source of money for college, other than wealthy parents, differ from the other two methods of financing a college education. Student loans are money for college borrowed by the student to finance his or her schooling with the agreement to repay it after some time, with the corresponding interest, of course.

Free grants for college generally are available in a few general categories, but they may also be awarded to students who are pursuing a specialized degree program, such as mathematics or business. They may also be targeted to various degree levels, such as Bachelors, Associate, Doctoral or Masters.

Free grants may also come from different sources: the colleges and universities themselves, public and private organizations, and federal or state agencies or commissions.

Since free grants for college are often specifically intended for the financially underprivileged, certain grants exist for the financially or socially deprived, underrepresented minorities, and other students in need. There are also some cases wherein the grant money is exchanged for professional service after the graduation. This is common to those taking up health care professions. The main purpose of this is to keep trained professionals in medically underserved regions. One example of this with which I am personally acquainted, is a program which the U.S. Department of Agriculture used to have whereby they would fund the education of a Veterinarian in return for an agreement for the individual to work for the USDA for a given amount of time after graduation.

Grants are particularly often used by adult students to return to college or to college programs that will direct them in reentering the place of work or improve their opportunity in the workforce.

This is common since colleges no longer require traditional age groups, specifically between 18 to 24 years of age, as they once did.

Americans nowadays are becoming more and more practical in their consideration of several ways to receive a degree. And this modern perception has driven adult students to flock into colleges without the fear of public scrutiny or worrying about entering a young person's world...unlike before.

The modern world requires a wide base of skillful and intelligent members for the labor force in order for a society to be able to be an effective part of the the competitive worldwide market. For the applicants to be credible candidates for the few available positions, they must present, at the least, a college diploma.

Having a college degree is really vital to personal and professional growth.

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