In this article, you will learn a little about the FAFSA process application which is the first step to apply for a National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) grant. If you stumbled upon this article, chances are that you are a college student currently If you wish to educate yourself in regards to the financial opportunities the federal government gives to people like you.
A SMART Grant is a program designed by the Department of Education of the US Government, under the Federal Student Aid office. It is a complement to the Federal Pell Grant.
Both the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants are designed to be other complementary award programs to one called Federal Pell Grant Program.
The program is for people in the pursuit of financial aid for students in especially difficult situations that wish to enroll in college careers.
You could get a SMART Grant depending on what situation are you in, but these are generally for college students that wish to get financial help.
More specifications are explained in detail below, in the next subheadings of this article.
To apply for a SMART Grant the only other thing you need (besides the simple things that will be explained soon), is to fill and send the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the end of your particular school’s financial aid period.
This form can be found and done online on the Federal Student Aid office’s website.
Requirements for qualifying for a SMART Grant
The Academic Competitiveness Grant, also known as ACG is awarded to students that have not yet graduated high school and are currently going through the first and second year, after completing the curriculum, but this will be true only for students with certain characteristics.
In the case of first-year students in college, they must have completed the secondary education part of school after the date of January the 1st of the year 2006.
The particular case of students of the second year, this will be true if they finished secondary school after the date of January the 1st of the year 2005.
It is also a matter of need not to have been part of an ACG eligible program while having the mandatory age by law to be attending public school or any other type of education deemed equivalent.
There can be an exception to this rule if, in said situation, program eligible classes were part of the high school curriculum. Lastly but most importantly, a person should have at least a 3.0 GPA when finishing the first year of college studies before graduating.
In the case of the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants, these awards will be given to students of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th-year college students in technical areas that are deemed critical by the federal government.
Again, the 3.0 minimum GPA at these states of college is also needed, or at least for all the classes included in the program of the most recent and completed period of payment.
Who can apply for a SMART Grant
Anyone that falls into the next listed categories:
- Must be enrolled in college, either a junior or senior
- You must have been in school at least half time
- To be enrolled in, minimum, one course that enters in the requirements of the major during the period in which SMART Grants are given
- To keep at least a 3.0 GPA in this previously stated period
- Must be eligible for a Pell Grant
SMART Grant: Typical Career Paths
A student that is awarded a SMART Grant most likely is one pursuing to major in careers with affinity to physical sciences, life sciences or computer sciences, but also the more basic science fields like math and technologies, and any type of engineering is also appreciated and considered.
Foreign Languages are also accepted but only if they fall into the subcategory of highly critical knowledge that associates with national security.
SMART Grant: Tips to be a successful applicant
There is a lot of people that would appreciate some financial help in regards to college, after all, it is one of the first steps to get into what one would call “adult life”.
You must be very assertive, and demonstrate high interest in education and independence from parents and guardians. Healthy ambition is always a good asset. Determination, and to have a path traced to your future and what you would want to achieve in life.
You must be a good student and be sure of what is important, also have good multitasking skills and be able to work under pressure, which are abilities that will be very useful during college and in the years to come, in the professional world.
College is always a good thing to aim for. Even if it happens to be supposedly “overrated” by standards of the new generations and modern society, the reality is that a College degree truly opens thousands of doors to happiness, self-realization and financial success in life.
College is also expensive since we are talking about hours and hours of your life spent on campus, learning and compromising yourself with a kind of super-specialized education in order to become an expert in the field of your liking.
SMART Grant: More Tips
With a good and healthy environment and teachers that are really good and whose purpose is to make sure you have all that you need to become a true professional.
It sounds like a luxury if you think about it like that, but the truth is, we are all aware that anyone that wants it should be able to go and shape themselves as professionals.
This is why the US Department of Education offers different programs to aid those in financial need to achieve their dreams.
It is a hard process, but it is full of pleasure and happiness. It is a matter of looking for the right information, in the right places, and being very attentive to get what you would like for yourself, with hard work and ambition.
Don’t let the myths and misinformation of people all around you dissuade you or hinder the path that you would like to walk towards superior education, and towards a more fulfilling happier life doing what you love.
SMART Grant: Motivations
College is a wonderful experience, and it is for everyone, no matter what, especially in regards to financial aid, because there are a thousand different kinds of opportunities that can help you pursue college education even if you feel insecure about money and things alike.
There has been plenty of successful people in history whose struggles have actually helped them become the best versions of themselves. Hard work can achieve anything but also compromise.
A successful student is a responsible and disciplined person, a person that attends every class and that studies every day and continue to build their knowledge and avoiding falling behind the rest.
A successful person in society is one that has set themselves goals to achieve, and after they reach a milestone this only pushes them to work harder to go to the next level.
You must never be afraid of being ignorant in a topic, we were not born knowing everything there is in life, so investigate, ask the right questions to the right people, study wisely, don’t burn yourself out and be careful and learn how to care for yourself.
SMART Grant: Conclusion
Students that don’t do well in education in general, but above all things, don’t do well in college, tend to be people that do all of the opposite things we just mentioned before.
They don’t have goals of any kind, they lack motivation, they don’t know how to manage their study sessions and time overall wisely, they are not able to adapt or complete tasks, are not independent and tend to procrastinate a lot instead of focusing on what is important.
Do you want to be a successful person in life? Of course, you want, this is what we all pursue from the start, but to be able to be that, you must be a successful student first, and this you can achieve being proactive and cultivating good habits that will help you go thru day to day smoothly.
Any of these programs can help you get to the place you want, this is what the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants were designed for.
It is never late to learn good habits! Become an active person, read your textbooks carefully and make notes, use colors that make everything pop, make your own guides for study, practice a lot and don’t be afraid.
Apply for a SMART Grant, there is surely a lot of people that believe in you and support you through this way in life, probably family and close friends.
You can always count on one true friend that will never abandon you and that will always be with you no matter what: yourself.
For more reading on FAFSA grants and loans, click the link.