The majority of students can get to grips with the terminology behind degrees and the associated scholarships and grants extremely quickly. However, there are still small elements of financial aid that cause much confusion and can really cause problems when it comes to applying for money. The main culprit of this happens to be the hardship grant. Many students do not know the difference between a hardship grant and a hardship loan. This is understandable considering there are many variations of both around and, although the hardship grant is also known as federal hardship funding, it can certainly cause problems in the aftermath of the award.
Coming from a low income family or experiencing financial hardship through the stresses and strains of modern university life is never fun. It is easy to get into extreme financial difficulty whilst taking an educational course these days as a result of the expensive rents, books, other course materials and then also being able to live. It often comes as no surprise when individuals say that they cannot afford to eat because they have to spend so much of their hard earned cash on books that they are expected to have. The education system does put too much financial pressure on an individual and it is not fair. However, there is help at hand if individuals do want to turn to the right people for it.
Funding and scholarship offices for every school and college will offer hardship loans to help see students through the rough time. These students will be assessed via the need based system but are not necessarily from low income family backgrounds. As a result, they will only get a loan. This is a specific amount of money that is lent to the individual student with a time frame for paying it back placed on it. It is then up to the student to make a payment plan to return the funds. Most colleges have this facility and it has caught on elsewhere too. It is important that students try to stick to the payment plan because what started out as an interest free loan can soon equate to a massive headache!
The hardship grant is completely different though, mainly because students are not expected to pay it back at any time. Those from low income families will struggle to make ends meet more than most because they cannot call on family members to help them out in their hour of need. In fact, they may not be able to make it to university at all if there was no funding available to help them. The federal and local governments as well as some individual schools offer hardship grants. An individual from a low income background is welcome to apply for all three if he so wishes and does not have to pay a penny back.
The hardship grant and loan are thus very different, as you can see. In truth, they probably appeal to different types of student; the former appealing to those with very little in their own name and the latter for those who may struggle towards the end of an academic year or semester. However, they are both there for an individual to call upon to get them through their education if need be.