Housing Loans And Grants For College Students In 2023

    There’s no denying that getting a degree is a highly challenging undertaking, even for the most optimistic people. The stress, for the most part, does not only lie in academics and other activities. College students also have to worry about the growing expense of tuition, books, and additional fees. 

    Along with all of those, these students also have to worry about their accommodation. For those who are worried about how to pay for college housing, there are federal and state-specific student grants, and private institution programs they can consider.

    In this article, let’s take a deeper look at these housing loans and grants that will help make attending college easier on the pockets. 

    Are There Housing Grants For College Students?

    Students in need of financial aid may explore various college scholarships that will help them handle tuition. However, college expenses do not end with that— living costs, whether for on-campus or off-campus housing can be a huge financial drawback, especially for students from low-income families.

    To manage these added expenses, students can pursue financial aid packages, particularly grants. The best thing about most college grants is that they have limited restrictions, which means students can allocate their monetary award to room and board. Most of all, they won’t have to worry about future repayment from the grants they use for their college housing needs.

    The Best Federal Grants For College Housing

    Grants are funding opportunities that are often provided for students based on merit or financial need. They are available at the federal or state level, but housing grants may also be accessed from private organizations and institutions.

    Most grants, however, are awarded by the government, which is why students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get started with obtaining financial aid. Once this form has been filled out, students may start with these federal college grants.

    Here are some of the best federal grants that will help you pay for college housing.

    1. Federal Pell Grant

    The Pell Grant is the primary federal program with the largest grant resources available for students in need. It is designed to support students with financial disadvantages by providing them with funds for tuition and housing.

    To qualify for a Pell Grant, a student must show that their need exceeds the Expected Family Contribution, have a full-time academic status, and provide the cost of attending college. Though the amount awarded may vary, students may gain access to up to $5,500 per year.

    2. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants

    For students who have exceptional financial hardship, applying for the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) may be their best option.

    However, this grant is designed for students who qualify as zero in the category of Expected Family Contribution in their FAFSA. Once all applicants in this bracket are qualified, the remaining funds will be distributed to the next groups with the highest needs until the funding is exhausted.

    3. Montgomery GI Bill

    The Montgormey GI Bill helps qualifying veterans and their family members obtain college and graduate education, including specialized training opportunities.

    There are various forms of this grant and the benefits vary for each one. There is the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty for those who has served for at least two years, the Montgomery GI Bill – Selected Reserve for members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard, and Montgomery GI Bill – Survivors’ and Dependents’ Assistance for spouses and children of veterans.

    4. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program

    Do you dream of a career in teaching? The TEACH Grant Program awards up to $4,000 per year to students who wish to pursue a career in education. The teaching service obligation is required to enjoy this benefit for free. Should you eventually decide that this is not the path for you, the grant will be converted to a loan with interest.

    To apply for the TEACH program, you must meet the basic eligibility through the FAFSA form, find a college that is a partner of the program, pass the academic achievement requirements in the college admissions test, and maintain a GPA of at least 3.5.

    Can Students Pay For Housing Using Student Loans?

    If you’re a student who has missed opportunities in obtaining scholarships or grants, or perhaps you still have financial gaps despite these awards, you may also consider taking out a student loan.

    Student loans can be sued to help students cover for tuition and other expenses like housing, utilities, transport, and groceries. They have two main options in this route — federal student loans or private student loans.

    Student loan funds are often disbursed directly for tuition and fees. For housing in particular, the students often have to wait for the leftover money to be refunded to their account to access it and report it as a living expense.

    The Best Housing Loans For College Students

    Students who have exhausted all of their funding options can turn to loans to pursue their studies. However, unlike scholarships and grants, student loans must be paid back to the lender, and they come with a considerable interest.

    If you want to apply for a student loan, you should first research the process and understand everything before signing an agreement. For example, you should shop around and find the best interest rates. You should also find loans that will require repayment only after you graduate, so that nothing will distract you from your coursework.

    To get you started, here are the best student loans you should consider applying for.

    1. Federal Student Loans

    Federal student loans are the primary option of the US government to help college students finance their higher education. There are two main loan types open for students:

    • Direct Subsidized Loans

    Direct subsidized loans are open for full-time or part-time students with financial need. Here, the government subsidizes the total cost of education as long as the student remains enrolled. This loan’s value may reach up to $5,500 per year.

    Six months after graduation, the loan will be charged with interest that must be paid in addition to the principal.

    • Direct Unsubsidized Loans

    The other option available for students is a direct unsubsidized loan. This is open for both undergraduates and graduates, with or without financial need.

    Here, the government won’t make interest payments on behalf of the student. The student may also start paying for the loan even during school, so a regularly paying student may have saved thousands of dollars before they graduate.

    Direct unsubsidized loans may range from $5,500 to $7,500 for dependent undergraduates, $9,500 to $12,500 for independent undergraduates, and up to $20,000 for graduate students.

    2. College Ave

    If you are looking for other options, you may consider private lenders like College Ave. College Ave offers student loans for undergraduates, graduates, and their parents. They allow the loan to be used for tuition, housing, textbook, school supplies, transportation, and more. 

    The best things about College Ave student loans are the variation of repayment terms — 5, 8, 10, or 15 years — and the six-month grace period that you can extend for six more months.

    3. Earnest

    An online lender worth considering for student loans is Earnest. Earnest offers student loans to undergraduates and graduates that they can use for tuition, room and board, dependent care, transportation, and supplies.

    They offer five repayment terms: 5, 7, 10, 12, or 15 years, and they also allow full deferment, fixed, interest-only, or full principal & interest payments as repayment options. After graduation, the loan must be paid after a grace period of nine months.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Learn more about housing solutions for college students through the answers to these popular questions.

    1. Are there alternatives to student housing grants and loans?

    If you are a student who are looking for financial opportunities aside from housing and loans, you may consider applying for a job to help you pay for your studies. You may try applying in your college for work, like being a resident assistant (RA) to have free access to living facilities, as well.

    2. Can a student get in trouble for misusing grants and loans?

    Student loans are only designed for educational and essential living expenses. If a lender or grantor finds that the student is misusing the funds, like spending it on vacations, they may terminate the agreement or request for a repayment.

    3. Is it better to get a federal or private student loan?

    Both federal and private student loans can help students in financial need. Federal student loans are usually approved based on your financial need. On the other hand, private student loans will look into your creditworthiness. The former usually have better terms, as private student loans vary per lender. Ultimately, the better one of the two is up to you.

    Paying for a college education can be a mix of financial aid options, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Aside from securing financial aid  for your tuition fees, finding a way to pay for your housing through grants and loans can help you in achieving your goals.

    Learn more about free education benefits you can get from the government through Gov Relations. Get started with our guide on getting free laptops for college students!