Financial Assistance

Many prospective students report that they are unable to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree due to the high cost associated with attending a college or university. However, there are substantial funding opportunities that are available. While financial aid and scholarship applications may be available at your local community-based organizations, high schools and colleges, the internet is a tremendous resource that can be used for locating and applying to various grant and scholarship programs. Provided below are a selection of websites intended to assist high school students, college students, prospective college students, as well as others who are interested in applying for aid towards a college education.

Federal Pell Grants

Federal Pell Grants are one of the many sources of financial aid for college students. Pell Grants are awarded based on need, and unlike a loan, a Pell grant does not require repayment. Pell Grants are awarded to individuals based on a formula that is applied in the same manner to all applicants. Pell Grants are usually available only to undergraduate students who have not already earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. However, in some cases, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program may be eligible for a Pell Grant. Pell Grants are considered a component of federal financial aid, and can be combined with other aid from both federal and nonfederal sources. Applications are available and can be completed on the Federal Student Aid website.

The Rhode Island State Grant

The Rhode Island State Grant is a need-based grant ranging from $300 to $1,400. To be eligible, applicants must be a Rhode Island resident, a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen, be enrolled for at least a half-time basis in a postsecondary program that leads to an undergraduate degree or certificate, meet all the eligibility requirements of the federal student aid programs concerning selective service, drug convictions, and loan defaults, demonstrate financial need, and apply by the established deadline. Applicants for the Grant program must file a completed FAFSA, to determine eligibility. For more information, visit the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority's website.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program was created through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. The TEACH Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. For those interested in learning more about the TEACH Grant Program, you should contact the financial aid office at the college where you will be enrolled. For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

Rhode Island Foundation

The Rhode Island Foundation currently manages 150 scholarships and has launched a new online scholarship application system, the scholarship tracking and review system (STARS), that can assist scholarship seekers in obtaining the funding they need to make a college education possible. For application and eligibility information, visit the Rhode Island Foundation's website.

Ron Brown Scholar Program

The Ron Brown Scholar Program seeks to identify African American high school seniors who are committed to making significant contributions in society. To be eligible, applicants must excel academically, exhibit exceptional leadership potential, be active in community service activities and demonstrate financial need. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or hold a permanent resident visa card. Students must be current high school seniors at the time of their application. For more information, visit the Ron Brown Scholar Program's website.

Jackie Robinson Foundation's Scholarship Program

The Jackie Robinson Foundation's Scholarship Program provides scholarships of up to $7,500 annually to minority high school students showing leadership potential and demonstrating financial need to attend an accredited 4-year college or university of their choice. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen in order to qualify for the Jackie Robinson Foundation's Scholarship Award. Applicants cannot possess a 2 or 4-year degree when applying for this scholarship. For more information, visit the Jackie Robinson Foundation's website.

Hispanic College Fund

Last year the Hispanic College Fund awarded $2 million to more than 615 students nationwide. To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident residing in the 50 states or Puerto Rico, have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, plan to enroll as a full-time undergraduate student, and plan to be enrolled in a college or university in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. For more information, visit the Hispanic College Fund's website.

Since 1998 has been helping students find free money for college. has a state search component that enables users to search for scholarships available in their current state of residence. On the website you can:

  • Search 2.7 million scholarships and grants worth over $19 billion
  • Search for local, state, and national college scholarships and grants
  • Find scholarships based on your academics, talents, and interests
  • Review your scholarships by deadline, dollar amount, and more
  • Create one-click custom scholarship application request letters
  • Search colleges and universities, get admissions info, and more
  • Start early and find scholarships while applying to colleges