Answer: Well, I write grants for non-profit and some for-profit agencies/businesses/corporations. These types of grants are different than educational grants. Educational or academic grants are similar to scholarships, meaning you must meet a certain criteria to apply and be considered. Unfortunately, due to our Nation's economy, academic grants aren't as plentiful as they use to be. Individual grants for schooling are pretty much nonexistent. I know that we all see infomercials and books on personal grants, but it's a scheme to make money, for information that doesn't exist.
My suggestion would be to look into a Pell grant or academic scholarships. A Pell grant doesn't have to be repaid and is usually given to undergraduate students. Scholarships are also "free money". However, there are a few points I want to share with your regarding scholarships.
One of the most important things to know is that a lot of websites attempt to "scam" students and families. Be extra careful about inputting your personal information, especially your phone and/or social security number. Also, you shouldn't have to pay for scholarship information. Usually, that's a red flag. When you find a scholarship you may want to apply for, I highly suggest researching the website for legitimacy.
Second, scholarships can be competitive. Not only do you have to meet all of the scholarship criteria, but most scholarship funders want to know what makes you different/better than the other candidates. Many times they look at academic history, community involvement/service, personal and/or academic barriers you've overcome, and your professional/academic references.
Many times Pell grants and scholarships only cover partial tuition or a small portion. This means you need other financial resources to cover the remaining costs. This can be covered by working and paying for college, finding employment that offers tuition reimbursement, or through financial aid and loans. I recommend visiting the U.S. Department of Education
and College Board's website
. Both are excellent resources.