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      Get free money for college

      The search for grants and scholarships for college can get complicated. Experts say to start early and apply often. /

      Teachers are piling on the homework for your kids, but you have some homework to do too. If you or your child is college bound, you need to start searching for some financial help as early as their sophomore or junior year of high school.

      Your school should have a FAFSA form. This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and it will help you get the ball rolling. According to college admissions experts, this application will help students find funding opportunities. You will provide your income and other factors to point you in the right direction.

      Is your child a whiz at math or science? You might want to look into the National Science and Math Access to Retain Talent Grant. They call it SMART for short. This is given out during their third or fourth year of college to students eligible for Pell Grants that are majoring in physical, life or computer science. It is also for students in math, technology, engineering or foreign languages. If they are maintaining a 3.0 gpa they could get up to $4,000.

      Merit based grants are offered to students with high academic achievement. Start your search with websites that focus on your student TMs academic track record. An Academic Competitiveness Grant is available for students are college bound and they could get $750 for their first year and $1,300 their second year. This is usually in combination with a Pell Grant and a 3.0 gpa is required.

      Check with college admissions recruiters to find out grant or scholarships they offer. You will have to do some searching, but financial aid and grant websites can be a good place to start. Federal websites like keep a list of funding sources throughout the United States. This website also has a link with tips from those handing out the money. This might take some time to look through their red tape, but could be worth thousands of dollars if you make the effort.

      Don TMt forget about the friends network. Have your student ask their peers. Network with other students to find out what kinds of grants they are using.

      There are also funding sources for the non-traditional students. Websites like allow you to pinpoint your field of study and amount of education you already have accomplished to steer you to funding sources that can help you finish your educational goals.