If you have been looking into the various grants and loans that are available to students who are looking to receive financial aid in order to go to college, you will find that some of them go by acronyms.  One of the best examples is the National SMART grant.

SMART stands for Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent program, which should immediately give you some kind of idea as to what the grant is trying to do.  This is an excellent example of a grant that is focused on one particular area of learning.  It aims to help students in this particular area go through college with financial help.

This grant is a federal one which goes to students in their third or fourth year of study, so you can see that if you are looking to get started in college this will not be suitable for you.  However with that said, if you are looking to start college and you are going into one of the eligible categories defined by this grant, it is worth knowing about it in advance.  If you know it is there you will know you can apply for it when the time is right.  Your college should also be able to advise you on the grant and let you know how to go about applying for it later on in your course.

The National SMART grant applies to specific subjects, as we have already mentioned.  These include mathematics and computer sciences, but some other subjects are also included in the list of eligible categories.  If you happen to be studying a five year college program the SMART grant is usually awarded in the final year of your studies, rather than the third or fourth year.

You should also be eligible for the Pell grant in order to receive this grant.  If you are not eligible for the Pell grant then the National SMART grant will not apply to your situation.  As such you can see it is good news to be receiving the Pell grant, because you know you will receive further financial help later on if you are studying one of the subjects covered by the SMART grant.

The SMART grant provides a reasonable sum of money towards your studies as well.  The maximum amount in each of the third and fourth years is $4,000.  This would be paid in conjunction with your Pell grant, although of course the cap would be the charge for the studies you are taking.  For instance if you were eligible for a SMART grant of $4,000 but your studies only cost you $3,000, you would obviously only receive $3,000.

You also need to be able to maintain a good score during your studies to remain eligible for the grant.  This ensures it is only given to the best students who show great promise for the future.  And as such it is also a good inspiration to complete your course successfully.