Grants for At Risk Students
Making College Easier to Afford for the Less Fortunate
Higher education in the United States has historically been focused on providing college degrees to white, middle to upper class Americans. And not too long ago, it even excluded women. Minorities of all kinds have been overlooked.
In the last couple of decades, there has been a steady growth in support for women and minorities in the collegiate fabric. The American social and economic environment will only continue to be competitive among the world powers if it is able to educate all aspects of its human element.
One of the most overlooked minority groups is that labeled "At Risk". Many colleges and universities have traditionally overlooked the combination of poor, urban and minority. Now there are grants and scholarship programs that provide solely for the needs of at-risk students, starting at the grassroots level. Many at-risk programs are designed to include assistance for youth throughout elementary and secondary programs.
The types of grant that benefit at-risk youth are those that support organizations or programs that directly benefit students. Programs may provide literacy help, college advising for at-risk students, and after-school activities. Nellie Mae Education Foundation, a division of Nellie Mae Corporation, extends grant monies to programs like this.
The Whitehouse Office on Faith-Based Initiatives includes dozens of programs that specialize in supporting at-risk youth across all educational levels. The At-Risk program list includes the very well known Drug Free Communities Support Program, Juvenile Mentoring Formula Grant program, and the Migrant Education Assistance Program, among a dozen or so others.
Various states across the United States also have coughed up very necessary funds to beef up high-school programs that are helpful in guiding disadvantaged kids to finish high school and be prepared to explore college options. Texas became proactive on local levels by disbursing over $100 million dollars among some of its more disadvantaged school districts with the long-term goal for overall economic betterment.
Colleges and Universities
Two-year, vocational and community colleges in many areas offer grants for at-risk students. Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan-based education and research organization that offers grants for a community college education for students with disadvantaged backgrounds. Criteria for eligibility include discipline and behavioral problems, learning disability or a deficiency in the English language. The purpose of such grants is to provide a college education that emphasizes skill-based professional career training designed to fast track the graduate to a rewarding job with growth potential. Many community colleges also offer job-placement.
If you are shopping for grants appropriate for at-risk youth, do not overlook such valuable federal programs as the Pell Grant and minority grants in general available through nearly any educational institution.