Students with self-employed parents may have to face financial hardships due to irregular sources of family income throughout the academic year. Loans, scholarships, and grants for students with self-employed parents are not easily accessible in contrast to those available for students with salaried parents or owning business firms. Federal Pell Grant is available to need-based students, and students with self-employed parents may apply for a maximum grant of $5,500 for the period from July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011.

Advantage

Unlike student loans, a student grant does not have to be paid back. This allows the deserving student and self-employed parents to utilize the grant money for the specific purpose: to pay tuition fees, costs for stationery, books, and other living expenses. These student grants to children of self-employed parents ease the family stress in the ongoing recession since such families may not have employment benefits as enjoyed by full-time salaried workers or owners of business corporations.

Requirements and Criteria

Several need-based student grants are available, and the eligibility requirements depend on the type of grant and the educational institution. The Federal Pell Grant, which also forms the requirement for other student grants, is applicable to need-based first-time undergraduate students. Students with self-employed parents should apply for the Federal Pell Grant. To be eligible for the Academic Competitiveness Grant, you should be a full-time American student in the first year or the second year of the undergraduate program. Besides being eligible for the Pell Grant, second-year students from self-employed families must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 while applying for the Academic Competitiveness Grant.

Procedure

The application package for student grants in case of self-employed parents consists of Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is processed by the U..S Department of Education. Along with your completed FAFSA form, you should attach the most recent income tax return of your self-employed parents. After your application is processed, you will receive the Student Aid Report (SAR) that declares the amount granted to you for pursuing studies. It is important for you to fill the application forms correctly and enclose the relevant documents by the deadline if you want to enhance the chances of attaining the need-based grants for students with self-employed parents.