Well, it’s money given directly by the government that comes to colleges with a specific goal in mind: to give students the means to obtain a college degree. Grant is typically defined as an award given to an individual or organization for an initiative to address a specific problem.
Grants are frequently given to public or private colleges in order to “improve” their student outcomes. The reason that a grant is given, however, is not just about the students, but about the institution itself. Grant dollars are often used to enhance academic success through “additional courses.” These courses are provided by the university themselves — to be more precise, they are given by the faculty who teach those courses. While these courses are of course not required for completion of a bachelor’s degree, it is likely that they will make students more proficient in the subject, therefore increasing the chance that they will eventually apply for a college-bound job.
Grants as tools of college reform
Many students would probably love to go to a college based on the fact of its high quality, but colleges often have an agenda in mind more often than not. Grants, while they are an important piece of this scheme, are not the only pieces.
Grant dollars are used to provide specific needs and accommodations to students from underrepresented groups — students who, if not admitted, will face long odds of getting into that particular college in the first place. Grants are often used to implement these needs, as these are often areas that can be remedied through the individual’s own efforts. For example, when dealing with Title IX issues, colleges are typically seeking out students who would be better prepared for their coursework. Additionally, colleges generally need some sort of support in order to have adequate academic support or counseling to make up for some of the underperformance that is often present at their institution. Many colleges therefore will ask for help, and grant dollars are commonly used to accomplish this.
What do colleges do with these grants? The short answer is not much. The purpose of these grants is to help the college, it is to give students a good reason to enroll, and, most importantly, it is to raise funds for the college itself. Thus, to make sure that there are enough funds in the college’s coffers to help their students with the academic and other challenges that face them, colleges need to solicit the kind of grants and grant dollars offered by foundations and corporations.
It takes a lot for foundations to offer their aid to colleges. As much as we all
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