We have spoken at length on our blog about Pell grants, which are available to anyone who has sufficient financial need and meets all other requirements. (To get your introduction to the world of financial aid and Pell grants, read our article Everything You Need to Know About College Grants.)

But there are also other federal college grants that are given to individuals with special circumstances. If you are planning on going into the teaching profession, or you are the child of a military serviceperson who died in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, you might want to pay special attention:

grants for teachers1. Teachers

Specifically, future teachers who want to teach in low-income areas. With the TEACH Grant from the federal government, students can receive up to $4,000 per year to cover their college education if they are working toward an education degree and can commit to teach for at least four years in a high-need field (math, science, etc.) at an elementary or secondary school or educational service agency that serves low-income families.

There are other requirements to receive this special career-specific grant, such as GPA, enrollment in a degree program, and signing the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve. Also, some education degree programs will be eligible for this grant while others won’t be, so make sure you visit the TEACH Grant webpage for all the details before you sign up.

One of the most important aspects of this grant is that, if you fail to serve as an educator in a low-income school for your agreed upon four years, your grant will turn into a student loan, which you will be responsible to pay back. So if you want to use this grant to pay for your education degree, make sure you’re committed to working the full four years afterward.

2. Children of Those Who Have Died in the Wars in Afghanistan or Iraq

grants for children of military servicemen killed in iraq afghanistanIf you have a parent or guardian who was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of performing military service in Afghanistan or Iraq after the attacks of September 11, 2001, the federal government has provided the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. The goal of this grant, which can be up to $5,500 per year, is to help the children of those who have given their lives in the recent wars, who don’t qualify for Pell grants because their need isn’t great enough.

This special grant has certain stipulations, which you will want to keep track of if you plan to take advantage of it. First, you have to be under 24 years old. Second, you have to have been enrolled at least part-time at an institute of higher learning at the time of your parent or guardian’s death. Lastly, you must have been disqualified from Pell grants for financial need only, not for other reasons. Make sure you do your homework when considering using this grant.

If you want to understand these specialized grants more fully, here is a flyer that helped us understand it better.

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