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Going Above and Beyond - The Higher Education Grant

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Again, these are grants for individuals or institutions. However, a higher education grant includes higher levels of the academic world than simple education grants. Individuals pursuing a masterís, doctorate, or professional program are eligible, as are institutes which promote very special projects, such as teacher preparation for use of technology in the classroom or implementation of advanced computer technology programs.

These grants need not be paid back, but the individual or institution seeking higher education grant money must demonstrate why the money is needed and how the money will be put towards a higher education-oriented goal. For individuals seeking a higher education grant for post-secondary studies, oftentimes merely sending personal information is enough, though many more specific grants will require some kind of written statement explaining the need for the money. Often, individuals must meet residency, financial and academic requirements to be eligible for a higher education grant and, at times, certain programs of study must be undertaken to be eligible for grant money.

In the case of institutions seeking grant money, the process is a bit more complex, involving a number of forms to be filled out and a proposal to be written. Proposals must give some background information, the purpose of the grant, the need for the grant, where the grant will be used and for whom (the target population), the strategies to implement the grant, the personnel employed, methods for evaluating the success of the project, and a budget. Depending on the specific project, then, there may be other, more particular, requirements. For example, if you had to use animals, say for a higher education project involving research, you would have to include where the animals would be housed, and you would have to consult the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to demonstrate knowledge of guidelines concerning the humane treatment of animals.

Grants of this nature can be donated by the federal or state government, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, research institutions, funding institutions, corporations, or private individuals. Grants.gov is an excellent place to start the search, which is a site listing all Federal grants available ($400 billion are available) as is Ed.gov, the home page of the US Department of Education. Internet searches are helpful, and sites such as finaid.org, collegeanswer.com, and the Michigan State Library website are excellent sources for higher education grant information.

One of the best ways to research grant opportunities is to visit your regional foundation library, located at most major universities. Your local library will also have books listing grant opportunities, and you can consult with the librarian if you have any questions. These kinds of books will also be available either at your high school counselorís office or your universityís financial aid office. You can purchase these books at book stores.



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