101 College Grants You've Never Heard of:

You're Leaving Thousands On the Table

If you ever thought there was not enough money to go around for college, you're wrong. There's money, you just need to know where to find it. Hundreds... thousands of organizations, colleges, and even state governments have grant money to give for your college expenses.

Sometimes People Who Go to College Free Just Worked Harder on Applications!

Cash.Unless you really know how to dig and do the work - you'll simply have to muddle through with the typical Pell Grant, and that's if you qualify. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to only the most financially needy; meaning the middle-income students are generally S.O.L. Why does everyone else get to go to college? In some cases they qualified for federal low-income aid or state government aid. Others may have found that they could just take out loans and they'll worry about paying it back later. Some have found grants; money given to you because you need it and you're a worthy risk. So if you want to make excuses we have 101 answers.

How Do I Get My Share?

Begin by exploring our list! It's expansive in the scope of programs it covers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. In some cases the listings are for a single grant program, in others it is the gateway to a list of many programs.

Federal Grants

The Federal government has money to give. If you don't know about these programs, you should.


  1. Pell Grants are awarded to only the most financially disadvantaged students. You apply when you fill out the FAFSA.

Merit-Based and Need

  1. Academic Competitiveness Grant is designed for students already receiving a Pell grant. Up to $1300 is available for freshman and sophomores majoring in a critical need area, such as math, science, technology, engineering and foreign languages.
  2. The SMART Grant is a continuation of the AC Grant, but designed for juniors and seniors.

Federal Study Abroad Grants

Study Abroad Globe.
  1. David L. Boren Undergraduate Program for Study Abroad offers assistance to undergrads traveling to study languages and cultures. Of particular interest are those areas where knowledge in the language and culture would benefit U.S. national security. Program is a part of the National Security Education Program.
  2. A program of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Benjamin A. Gilman Award is given each year to students studying abroad and who meet the criteria. Students must receive Pell Grants to qualify.

State Sponsored Grants

While we can't go through every single one, each state offers its own suite of college grants. You should explore your state's higher education website for need and merit-based grants. They offer more help than you think. Here are some of the more unique of the hundreds of state-funded grant programs. (Remember you are typically only eligible if you are a state resident)

  1. Alabama's Central Community Foundation provides thousands of dollars in aid to financially strapped students from eligible counties.
  2. Arizona offers resident students who've attended a community college further aid if they wish to pursue a 4-year program. The aptly named Arizona Private Post-secondary Education Student Financial Assistance Grant gives between $750 and $1500 to qualifying students with financial need.
  3. Colorado's aid program offers financial assistance to students attending participating Colorado institutions.
  4. Kansas optometry students may receive Optometry Service Grants in return for staying to practice in the state
  5. Michigan students with speech or mental impairments should explore the Evelyn and Fredrick Weissman Education and Charitable Foundation available through the state.
  6. The Charley Wootan, a former chairman of the student loan guaranty in Texas, started his own grant in 2002 (The Charley Wootan Grant) to offer valuable assistance to Texas students really in need and wishing to pursue college.
  7. Wyoming Space Grant Programs offer monies to undergraduate and graduate level students pursuing research in space science at a Wyoming 4-year or community college.
  8. The Governor's Workforce Delvelopment Grant in Delaware helps adult students through their part-time studies. Maximum award is $2000 per academic year.


Two College Grads. Most colleges and universities offer tons of money in need-based grants to students. Without it, many colleges would not have the diversity of the student bodies they enjoy.

  1. The University of California at Santa Cruz makes annual awards to environmental research students- The STEPS Institute Grants support research focused on environmental or scientific research of particular note to California.
  2. Wichita State's Bowling program (Shocker Bowling) helps with fundraising to provide tuition grants for student athlete bowlers.
  3. The University of Texas School of Advertising administers a number of grants for students studying at graduate levels in advertising, marketing and communications:
  4. Arizona State University Jewish Studies Grants, are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students.
  5. The University of North Carolina offers students in their School of Public Health a healthy number of grant opportunities.
  6. Promoted through Iowa State are a handful of Iowa Horse Council Grants.
  7. Purdue University's Span Plan is a new program aimed at providing grant assistance to adult learners who have been displaced from the college environment.
  8. Duke University's Grants for Study in China is intended to boost student study abroad in historically "un-traveled" areas.
  9. If you're a resident of Attala, Carroll, Choctaw, Montgomery or Webster counties in Mississippi and attending the University of Mississippi, you might apply for the Sumners Grants. Students may be pursuing undergraduate or graduate level studies.
  10. Virginia Commonwealth University offers students in a technology program funding opportunities with their Emerging Technologies Undergraduate Research Grants.
  11. Law students enrolled in the University of Wyoming's Law School may qualify to receive summertime grants from the Public Interest Law Fund if they are willing to work in the public sector.


Even though the list is divided by professions you will find grants offered through university programs, individual endowments, as well as those sponsored by organizations and corporations.

African Studies

  1. Ruth Simms Hamilton Research Fellowship supports the "cutting-edge" research of a graduate-level student in African Studies.


  1. The American Floral Endowment provides research grants that target subject areas dealing with management of horticultural plants. Probably most interesting to students of Horticulture.
  2. Rhododendrons clearly demand a lot of study because the American Rhododendron Society offers comprehensive and well-outlined research grants to students studying such rhodi-specific topics as genetics, pest control, fertilization, and culture.
  3. While this is a grant focused on an organization, it is very interesting, nevertheless. Remember Harry Chapin- 70's and 80's folksinger whose most widely played ballad was "Cat's Cradle?" Since his death, the Harry Chapin Foundation has continued to provide educational grants to organizations dedicated to community projects that fight hunger either through education or action. Common recipients for their dollars are community and urban garden programs.
  4. Don't overlook the national chapters of the Future Farmers of America grants. Undergraduate students with an eye to farming or agriculture of any kind should explore. The organization purports to have over $2 million dollars available each academic year to support students.


Anthropology is research-heavy. Many of the grant opps here focus on post-graduate research and field study.

  1. Post-doctoral students in the area of Ancient Man might explore the Mesoamerican Studies Grants. Find monetary support for your research.
  2. The venerable National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration funds grant projects focused on research in study areas related to paleontology, biology, archaeology, oceanography, as well as anthropology and others.


Abstract Art.
  1. Filmmaking? Check out The Carole Fielding Student Grants for filmmakers. The University Film and Video Association sponsors the award.
  2. If you're an artist doing graduate level work as a painter or in mixed media you might consider the Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Sorority for Women Educators Fine Arts Grants.
  3. The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation award an annual grant for writers in theater, novel or short story. Material must be 'gay-positive.' Grants are in the amount of $1000.
  4. The Durfee Artists' Resource for Completion Grant is made possible through the Association of Hispanic Arts. The grant program offers monetary assistance to L.A. artists who need financial help finishing artistic projects, especially for the betterment of their profession.
  5. Specialize in cartooning and caricature? You must be a Ph.D. student working on a dissertation that specifically focuses on cartoon and caricature. This unique grant is funded by the Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation- Fellowships for Caricature and Cartoon. Great way to earn $15,000 a year toward a doctoral degree.
  6. Students majoring in "costuming" may find the Costume Society of America's Stella Blum Research Grant most welcome. Program provides qualified student with up to $3000 for school.
  7. The Handweaver's Guild of America offers grant money to undergraduate students studying fiber arts.

Athletics and Recreation

  1. National Strength Conditioning Association's Grants support students pursuing the field. Grants available for undergraduate, graduate and research students.
  2. The National Recreation and Park Association awards $500 Student Initiative Grants to undergraduate student majoring in Recreation and Park Management, or similar areas.


  1. The National Society of Accountants provides grants to students specializing in, of course, Accounting.
  2. If you happen to be a dependent of a veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart and you are pursuing Business, then consider the Military Order of the Purple Heart's award for Dependents of Purple Heart Recipients. $1,000 possible for full-time study.
  3. Going into the Insurance end of business? State Farm Insurance Company provides a number of research and study grants to insurance students who are studying and researching within the field.


  1. Content-management students specializing in electronic documents will find grant money through the Electronic Document Systems Foundation.
  2. The IEEE, or Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, sponsors grants to students at all levels of Computer Science study. Their Student Enterprise Award is given to students with promising "projects" that need funding support.


You know the folks who run the hotels and entertainment complexes of the world often have studied in the Hospitality Management fields. Surprisingly there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant monies for students studying in the field.

  1. If you're attending a hospitality management program at the college level you might explore the grants offered by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Foundation. These grants are only available through partner colleges and universities.


  1. The Neiman Foundation for Journalism Fellowships at Harvard University are intended for experienced journalists with already solid professional experience under their belts. Qualified candidates have the opportunity to study at one of the nation's premier institutions.
  2. The American Banking Association offers a yearly fellowship aimed at journalists, The Banking School Fellowship for Journalists.
  3. Journalists interested in ocean sciences may find the Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship program offered by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute applicable.
  4. Food writers may be eligible for the Culinary Trust's Travel Writing Grants.


Math Geek.
  1. Notable company Raytheon is in the grant game with their MathMovesU program. The company makes it profitable for college students to earn extra grant money toward tuition if they tutor or coach a math team.
  2. Alpha Mu Theta, the National Honor Society for Math, offers merit-based awards to particularly talented math students.
  3. Check out the American Math Society for loads of grants all for the serious math wunderkind.
  4. The National Science Foundation offers grant fellowships to graduate level mathematicians and computer scientists.


  1. The grants available through the Broadcast Education Association offer monetary support to both need and merit-based to students studying at all levels in the area of broadcast media.
  2. AdCraft, a Detroit-based advertising organization, awards grants to outstanding Michigan students pursuing advertising and marketing.
  3. Students living in Ohio and enrolled in advertising and marketing programs may qualify for one of the Cleveland Advertising Association's grants.


  1. Interested in studying Music in Hawaii? Then you might be interested to know that the University of Hawaii's Music Department offers an undergraduate student in music an attractive grant called Friends of Music at Manoa.
  2. Ensemble music students may compete for grant money from the Edgewood College Music Department. Grants to the best performers are available up to $1500.

Non-Profit Management/Public Sector

  1. Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector Research Fund offers grants for research that promotes the study of not for profit organizations or models.
  2. Public sector leaders of tomorrow should consider the New Voices Fellowship program that now makes over a dozen grants available for students and small not for profit groups.


  1. Students pursuing photography can compete for grant money through MyParkPhotos.org Foundation.
  2. McKnight Photography Fellowship program provides $25,000 awards to eligible photographers in Minnesota. Sponsored through the University of Minnesota.


  1. Lutheran students may be eligible for grant money from the Aid Association for Lutherans.
  2. In order to ensure a continual swirl of Baptist ministers, the American Baptist Church National Ministries sponsors a financial aid program. To be eligible for the organization's support you must be affiliated with the American Baptist Church.


  1. The Geologic Society of America provides graduate grant monies to students researching their graduate theses or dissertations on topics relative to geology.
  2. Oh, to preserve the future of oil! The American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation sponsors an annual Grants-in-Aid Program. Award amounts up to $2000 to be used toward thesis research.
  3. For the biology student specializing in malacology (the study of mollusks) comes the Student Research Grants in Malacology from the Western Society of Malacologists.

Student Types


Minority Student. The grants and other funding opps you'll find here come from all types of sources. Historically underrepresented groups such as African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are eligible for millions of dollars in grants. Of particular note are those fields that have been traditionally lacking diversity, such as the sciences and business.

  1. The American Anthropological Association offers a Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program that goes to funding a doctoral level student in Anthropology.
  2. The Multicultural Advertising Intern Program through the American Association of Advertising Agencies awards grants to students pursuing degrees in advertising and media communications.
  3. Minority students pursuing a degree in Hospitality Management may be eligible to compete for grant money sponsored by the Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students.
  4. Asian-American students interested in filmmaking or television production may be eligible for grant money through the Media Action Network for Asian Americans. Students must prove merit and need to receive these $1,000 grants.
  5. Hispanic business students should check out the Saludos Business Grants.
  6. The Fellowship for Ethnic Minorities doled out through the American Society of Criminology is intended to encourage more minority students in the areas of law and criminal justice.


Woman Studying Outside.If you thought women were successfully entrenched in all areas of industry and professions, then think again. In fact, recent attempts to create more gender equality have progressed slowly and recent studies have shown only increasing chasms between women and men especially in the technology arena.

  1. The Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund, sponsored by the World Bank, awards up to $11,000 to international women pursuing studies in the U.S. intended to help her homeland community. Eligible recipients must be planning on returning to their country of origin to be considered.1
  2. Career-changers, women looking to add to their educational portfolio or those who have been displaced from college may be eligible for one of the many grants awarded to women with financial need by the American Association of University Women.
  3. International women pursuing a college degree will find grant money through the International Federation of University Women. Women may find funding for studies or for research fellowships.
  4. The Jeanette Rankin Foundation awards need-based education grants to women 35 and older challenged by higher educational systems and by financial disadvantages.
  5. Zonta International sponsors a variety of sizeable grants to women across the board, including the Young Women in Public Affairs Award program.


Disabilities may range from blindness, deafness, to types of learning disabilities. In the effort to assimilate those students who live with a disability you will find that these and many other organizations are generous in their support:

  1. The Casey Martin Award, sponsored by Nike, was established in this pro-golfer's name. Award goes annually to an athlete with disabilities or severe social disadvantage.
  2. The Mary Switzer Research Grants are available through the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The award gives outstanding post-graduate students up to $65,000 to complete research in the field of disabilities and special education.
  3. The Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation awards not-for-profit groups grants up to $5,000. Monies make it possible to offer arts and educational programs for disabled and special needs adults.


Non-traditional usually encompasses students who have been displaced from college either did not finish degrees or never went directly from high school to college. Also, students migrating from technical programs to four-year may be included in the category. Often women returning to careers following stints raising families or single parents with children will find funding under this heading.

  1. The Soroptomist International of the Americas funds the Women's Opportunity Awards, which offer monetary grants to women in disadvantaged situations. Applicants must be responsible for supporting their household or otherwise strapped to receive these competitive awards.
  2. Women who have been seriously severed from a post-high school education and who would benefit from a college education may qualify for the Kalamazoo Women's Education Coalition grant. Awards are between $250 and $3,000 and may include expenses to cover other lifestyle expenses that contribute to the recipient's financial situation.
  3. Single mothers not only have challenges when it comes to making time for college, but the financial burden of child care costs as well as putting food on the table often keep them in jobs versus college programs. The Raise the Nation program helps colleges and universities offer grants to women who would otherwise not be able to attend.
  4. Purdue University's Span Plan has been providing educational grants to adults beyond college age for years.

Students with Severe Medical Conditions/Diseases

Red Blood Cells.College-bound students of a normal ilk have a cartload of challenges as it is. Students who have fought, are fighting or who have survived a serious disease face immense emotional challenges on top of financial. These are just a fraction of the organizations willing to give to the causes:

  1. The Ohio Chapter of the American Cancer Society gives travel grant money to supporting organizations that provide various activities for cancer patients and survivors.
  2. The Meningitis Trust Foundation offers grants for education and special equipment that helps with daily living.
  3. The Komen Foundation Awards are made available to qualifying students. Eligible candidates must have suffered the loss of a parent who has died of breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen Foundation is one of the most renowned and proactive organizations involved in the fight against breast cancer.
  4. The Cancer Survivor's Fund makes grant money available to survivors of cancer who need financial assistance to return to their dreams of a college education.

Unique Grant Programs

If you are interested in really plumbing the depths of grants you will find something for almost every taste. This list is dedicated to those that are without a grander category. But by no means are they the bottom of the barrel.

  1. The Harry S. Truman Library Institute sponsors the Undergraduate Student Research Grant Program that awards $1,000 to a student who is working on a thesis or research paper on topics relative to Truman.
  2. Graduate students studying cereal chemistry may qualify for funding for research through the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) International. Grants may be as much as $3,000.
  3. The Hitachi Foundation funds $5,000 grants to graduating high school students who stand out in their communities for community involvement, service to others and in leadership roles.
  4. High school rocketry whizzes may win big bucks for college tuition through the Team America Rocketry Challenge, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry. Winners divvy up thousands of dollars in prize money as well as receive travel grants to a NASA event.
  5. Enterprising young seamstresses (female OR male) may win one of the more unusual grants. The contest, offered first on a state level in various (often Midwestern states) is the Make it with Wool contest. Winners of the state competition advance to a National contest where the prize money is $1,000.
  6. American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) Rhoads Research Foundation Grants provide generous funding to post graduate professionals studying nutrition particularly in the areas of "metabolic support" or "clinical nutrition." Funding varies.
  7. The Jewish Vocational Services of Chicago offers grants to Jewish college students who are residents of the area. Preference is given to those pursuing careers that are considered "helping professions."
  8. Students who may be partaking in studies abroad may consider allying themselves with the very well-known Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE). The organization provides students who will be studying in "non-traditional" regions of the world with generous John Bowman Travel Grants.
  9. Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama offers the Scarlet and Grey Cheerleading Grant to top-notch students who can earn a spot on the team. Grant covers up to half the student's cost of tuition.
  10. The Endangered Language Fund provides grants to graduate level and post-doctoral students working to save ancient languages from extinction.

See our extensive list of college grants organized by category.

Money Falling from the Sky.


  1. "In Computer Science, A Growing Gender Gap," Bombardieri.

Works Cited

Bombardieri, Marcella. "In Computer Science, A Growing Gender Gap." The Boston Globe. [updated 18 December 2005; cited 23 September 2006]. Available from http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/12/18/in_computer_science_a_

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