When you are going to school, it can be difficult to concentrate on your studies when you are also trying to pay your rent. Rent is important, but school is important too. So, what do you do? Do you concentrate more on work so you can pay your rent, while your school suffers? Or, do you concentrate on school while you let work slide, not making enough to pay your rent?
It is not a good situation to be in, but the good thing is that there are many options out there for you in the form of rent assistance grants. Rent assistance grants will help you pay your rent, so you can concentrate on school rather than trying to pay your bills. This will help you get better grades, it will reduce your stress and generally make you happier.
Grants are available from private corporations that fund students in fields that the firm specializes in, through schools that you are applying to, and through both state and federal governments.
HUD, or the U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development, provides rental assistance for eligible students. Typically, the rental assistance requirement is based on how much the student will make while they are in school. Other requirements including meeting one of five criteria, which are:
- The student is over the age of 24
- The student is married with a dependent child
- The student is a veteran of the U.S. military
- The student is eligible for Section 8 housing
In terms of income, a student must have an income that is 50 to 80 per cent below the median income for the area in which they live.
Another program is offered to students in rural areas, and it comes through the U.S Department of Agriculture. Under the USDA’s program requirements, a student must currently reside in an existing or newly constructed project, which is funded by the Housing and Community Facilities Programs Rural Rental Housing or Farm Labour Housing initiative.
Within the United States, there are a number of grants offered through individual states, too many to name here, but they are quite similar. For example, California offers need-based grants to students who fall below an income limit, which helps the student pay rent. In California, grants of up to $12,192 per year are allowed both for tuition and for expenses like rent. Naturally, various income requirements must be met. States will vary greatly over what they will provide. Iowa will only provide $1,000 per year to students in need of grant assistance, while Texas will provide $7,400 per year.
Generally, you will live on campus while attending school and that means your rent will be much cheaper. It won’t be as cheap as you would like though. For example, the University of Virginia charges $8,000 per year for its rent, which is low for rent, but that is $4,000 higher than what it was in 1995. Dorm life is quite cheap, but you may still need help. Grants from schools, like any other grant, do not require repayment and they do not carry restrictions so any grant you get from a school can be used to pay for room and board.
Every school has different grants that can be applied for, based on a wide range of criteria. The best thing to do is to contact the school you are going to be attending about grants and then send in an application for the grants you want. Don’t just send in one application because you may not get the grant you want, send in several to ensure you will have the help you need when the time comes to pay the rent at the school.