Planning and Preparing for College (Scholarships, Internships, Etc)

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New Academic Grants for Students

U.S. Department of Education Announces New Academic Grants for Students

High school seniors may now be eligible for new Academic Competitiveness grants, and college students may be eligible for new National SMART Grants for the 2006-07 academic year, the U.S. Department of Education has announced. Students who complete rigorous coursework in high school or who are pursuing degrees in math, science and critical foreign languages are eligible for a portion of $790 million in new federal funding for higher education.

Academic Competitiveness Grants

Under the Academic Competitiveness Grants program, grants will be available to students in their first and second years of college. Congress has established that an eligible first-year student may receive up to $750 and eligible second-year students may receive up to $1,300. In order to be eligible, students must have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study and be enrolled in or accepted at a two- or four-year degree-granting institution of higher education.

For the 2006-07 academic year, the Department will immediately recognize four options for demonstrating successful completion of a rigorous program of study:

*Advanced or honors diplomas conferred by States;

*State Scholars Initiative requirements;

*A set of courses similar to those under the State Scholars Initiative (four years of English, three years of math, three years of science three years of social studies, and one year of a foreign language); or

*Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and scores (two AP or IB courses and passing scores on the exams for those courses).

National SMART Grants

Under the National SMART Grants program, up to $4,000 will be available to eligible students in the third and fourth years of college and pursuing a major in mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, computer sciences, technology, engineering, or a critical need foreign language. Students must have a cumulative 3.0 college GPA. Federal guidelines provide students and institutions of higher education with information about which eligible postsecondary majors will qualify students for grants.

*Guidelines are posted on the Federal Student Aid website:

*A list of eligible majors is posted at:

More information is available at: Press Release.


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