If you want to attend college to pursue an interior design major, consider applying for grant money for interior design schools. Because education is so important for economic growth and development, President Obama has made education one of his top priorities. Learn how to find grant money and use it to attend the interior design school if your choice.
Grants Versus Scholarships
College and university financial aid departments consider grants and scholarships very similar to each other. The main feature of both types of funding is that you do not have to pay them back once you complete your education. This makes them an attractive alternative to high-cost student loans. Sources of funding for interior design education include the federal government, state education agencies, private companies and past or future employers.
Some companies advertise their grant-finding services, but you should avoid these companies. With a willingness to spend some time on research, you can uncover the same grants without spending a dime. After you select an interior design school, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online or on paper. Submit the form for processing well in advance of any financial aid deadlines. You will need your tax returns and other identification information to complete this form successfully. After you submit your application, the government uses your information to determine how much financial aid you qualify for. Your interior design school receives this information and determines your financial aid package.
Common types of free grant money for interior design schools are the Pell grant, and for exceptional financial need, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (S.E.O.G.). In some cases, recipients receives both grants, increasing the amount of money they have for college.
Some companies offer assistance with the high cost of tuition. Grant programs differ from tuition reimbursement programs, where you have to pay tuition up front, receive a specific grade and receive reimbursement at a later date. If your company offers a grant program, talk to someone in your human resources department to get information on qualifying and applying for a grant for an interior design program.
Some interior design companies offer grants to students pursuing a career in interior design. Companies give these grants as a way to ensure that the field continually has a supply of new talent. Without interior design education, the profession would not maintain its credibility and prestige. Research grants carefully to determine how to apply. Submit all of your application materials on time to ensure that each company considers you for a grant.
The American Association of University Women, or the AAUW, makes some grants available to women. These grants range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, with factors such as age and financial status playing a role in the amount of money awarded. Apply for one of these grants between August and September to receive the grant for the following year.
Another grant program is the Jeannette Ranking Scholarship Fund. A relatively unknown program, this fund awards grants to people who are pursuing their first bachelor's degree or completing a trade program at a vocational or technical school. Since both traditional colleges and trade schools offer interior design programs, this is an ideal way to earn grant money for your interior design education. The minimum requirements for this grant program are demonstrated financial aid and an age of at least 35.
Carefully review the terms of each grant before applying or accepting any grant money. Some foundations require you to keep very careful track of your education expenses and submit detailed reports on a regular basis. Other organizations restrict the use of your grant money to very specific expenses. If you need money for interior design supplies, such as fabric and sewing items, make sure the grant program you apply for allows you to use grant money this way. If you receive a grant only for textbooks, you won't be able to use the money for any needed supplies.