A grant is money given to an individual or educational institution to help fund college expenses. Grant money might be awarded with a specific intention, such as to promote music, drama, or research. The accounting major has many grant options to explore, with many eligibility requirements depending upon financial need.

A research grant is money that many large universities receive to explore specific areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and disease control. This money might be given to the school by foundations, private donors, businesses, or governments, and depending on the amount of the grant, it could be used to pay salaries, stipends, and other associated costs of the research program. Grant awards can be millions of dollars a year.

One type of government program is the LEAP (Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership) program; another is SLEAP (Special LEAP). These programs are formula-based and give money to states to assist students in financial need. Government education grants, such as TEACH, are grant funds given to students who intend to teach in low-income areas. Recipients can receive up to $4,000 in award money. Many organizations apply for government education grants when their mission aligns with money offered, such as special education services, teaching the value of nutrition in low-income communities, or tutoring students for whom English is a second language.

Pell Grants are government money awarded directly by the U.S. Department of Education to help students attend college.

To apply, a student needs to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form and submit it by the deadline date. Award money is given to low- and middle-income undergraduate students with a maximum amount of $5,550 a year based on financial need, cost of school, and enrollment status.

The National SMART program gives additional money to Pell eligible undergraduate students who plan to study physical, life, or computer science, math, technology, engineering, or a foreign language that is in demand.

For students who complete a rigorous secondary school program, such as honors or a specialized course of study, the government offers the ACG or Academic Competitiveness Grant awards, in the amounts of $750 to first-year students and $1,300 for the second year of college.

Some schools offer the FSEOG, or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, which is money that the school matches toward an undergraduate degree. For every three dollars the government provides, the school will contribute one dollar toward education. Eligibility requirements are reserved for those who have the lowest expected amount of family contribution, with award amounts between $100 and $4,000 a year.

The great thing about grant money is that it is free and you do not have to pay it back after graduation if you meet all the conditions of the grant.