Archive for the ‘Scholarships’ Category
As any college student can tell you, there are dozens if not hundreds of things to know about financial aid. But there is a well-kept secret that many students aren’t aware of when seeking financial aid. This secret has to do with disclosure and can save you a ton of money. In order to help you get the most for your financial aid efforts, it is highly advisable for students to do the following.
Select around five colleges and/or universities to apply to. Although it is time consuming and each is sure to stick you with an application or related fee, it is worth it in the end. Then apply for financial aid for each school as soon as possible. Most colleges and universities have an early, middle, and late deadline for applying for financial aid. The early one is the one you want.
Get accepted by more than one college or university, which isn’t as hard as it sounds if you’ve put in the time and effort to make your applications shine. Because you have also applied for financial aid early enough, the financial aid secret is yours to utilize.
The school is now obligated to tell you how much your education will cost out of pocket. Because you have been accepted and filled out all your forms properly, you can now know for sure how much your higher education will cost, which scholarships and loans you qualify for, and it can all be a huge boost in making an informed decision.
So for example, if your first choice in college is offering you half price for tuition and such, but your second choice is offering you a completely free ride, it can do lots to make them switch places.
And remember, just because you are accepted into a college does not mean that you have to enroll. In fact, it is a good idea to delay enrollment until you have all the answers you need. Hopefully, you get accepted into most or all of the schools you apply to in order to have as many choices as possible.
If you still find yourself stuck between two or more schools and don’t know which to enroll in, call each school’s counseling offices and tell them just that. Their job is to sell the school as best they can and can even shed new and undiscovered light on why you should or should not go with them.
If you are new to the college game, getting financial aid can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. But not to worry, there is help. Two of the most common forms of ways students pay for a higher education include scholarships and grants. While they can both be a life saver, it can be easy to confuse the two.
Let’s begin with the scholarship, as it is the most advantageous of the two. Scholarships are awarded to students based on any number of factors. These can include area of study, location, race, gender, religion, year of study, and many others. Two of the most common ways they are awarded is by academic standards, or essentially to those who have good grades. The other is needs based, or to those students who can demonstrate a financial need. Often times scholarships can be awarded on a combination of the two. The upside to being awarded a scholarship is that they lend the student a prestige and can show future employers that you do indeed stand out. The downside to scholarships is that they are very competitive. In fact, it is not unusual for hundreds or thousands of students to compete for each individual scholarship.
But don’t get downtrodden just yet. There are also grants available to students. These are commonly given away on a needs, or financial, basis. Students who meet or whose families meet the requirements for grants can be awarded a great deal of funds to help curb the cost of a college or university education. The best part about grants is that they are not competitive, and everyone who qualifies for a grant gets one.
There are also several similarities between scholarships and grants. The main one being that scholarships and grants are basically free money that students get for college and do not have to paid back as student loans do. However, there are several stipulations that generally come with scholarships and grants. Students are often asked to maintain a certain GPA while receiving funds. They must also take so many hours per semester in order to receive a grant or scholarship. Additionally, many scholarships and grants require students to graduate and even by a certain date. Not doing so can forfeit a student’s scholarship and/or grant and result in part or the entire amount having to be repaid to the entity who awarded it.
To learn more about which scholarships and grants you would like to receive, pay a visit to the financial aid office of the school you are attending or would like to attend.