Start searching for financial aid by filling out a FAFSA and by applying for scholarships. FAFSA submissions help students find thousands of dollars in financial aid. Even if students are not eligible for free grants, they can qualify for federal student loans that have lower interest rates than private loans. Scholarships are great funding option. There are countless scholarships available that are not merit based. Conducting a free scholarship search at Scholarships.com helps students find scholarships for the average, the exceptional, and the unusual. With over 2.7 million scholarships and grants, students will find money.
Some searches are reliable. Scholarships.com, for example is a member of the BBB, TrustE, NACAC, and NSPA, and is a proven, legitimate scholarship search website with dozens of success stories millions of students assisted with over a decade of service. Always be wary of services that ask for money. Stay away from services that claim to do all the work, because scholarships require students to submit personal information. Any site that suggests otherwise is a scam.
They might. The government takes student awards into consideration when offering aid. However, do not be deterred, the effects of scholarships are not drastic. Most schools use only student money to offset loan eligibility, not grant awards. Students who do not receive enough financial aid benefit greatly from scholarships.
Yes, but not all of it. Graduate students are eligible for federal loans and Federal Work Study (FWS), but are not eligible for free government Pell Grants. However, plenty of non-government aid is available for graduates. Find countless scholarships, grants and fellowship opportunities for graduate students at Scholarships.com. Also look at college financial aid sites for more options.
Yes. However, do not be discouraged from saving. Pell Grants were capped at $5,635 for the 2012-2013 school year. Even if you get the full amount, which most students don’t, you will still need savings. It is best to set up an account in a guardian’s name. Less than 6% of parent assets are taken into account when determining financial need. Student assets are weighed more heavily so consider using student money to buy college necessities before submitting the FAFSA.
You have options. If you did not receive sufficient aid talk to the financial aid administrators at your school. They will point you in the right direction if your financial situation has recently changed (e.g. job loss or new medical bills). Also apply for scholarships and grants year round. As a last resort, take out loans.
Students that take out loans can look at college preferred-lender lists. These lists are supposed to be in favor of the student, with low-interest rates and high-quality service. However there have been many instances of suspicious college and lender partnerships and corruption. Therefore, be wary of these lists and do your research. Compare interest rates, on-time payment benefits, penalty charges and additional fees of every loan you research.
Grants and scholarships are free monetary awards: they do not need to be repaid. Grants may be offered without service requirements (e.g., Pell Grants) or with research requirements (this is typically the case with graduate students.) Scholarships are awarded based on merit, talent, major, ethnicity etc. They are not restricted to top students. Loans need to be repaid, with interest.
Students and parents who can put college money aside should take advantage of student savings account tax incentives. The most popular savings account options are the 529 Plan and the Roth IRA. Additional options include the Coverdell and the UTMA.
Aside from 529 Plan incentives, the Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit also have tax incentives.
Increase your chances of winning by decreasing competition. Apply for awards restricted to your city or major, or other specific criteria. Scholarships.com helps students find specific scholarships by matching awards to the information on your personal profile. Pay attention to all regulations and only apply for scholarships that you are eligible for. Remember to proofread your work.
Latest College & Financial Aid News
September 24, 2020
The state of Michigan is set to offer two years of free community college to essential workers who were required by their job to leave the house and work at least 11 weeks in the spring during the coronavirus pandemic. This unique opportunity, called Futures for Frontliners, opens doors to essential workers who are not commonly considered front-line workers and an estimated 600,000 residents could qualify. [...]
September 22, 2020
by Izzy Hall
Many colleges have waived SAT and ACT score requirements for high school seniors currently applying to college due to how difficult it has been to sign up for standardized testing during the coronavirus pandemic. Now some colleges are also waiving standardized test score requirements when awarding merit scholarships to incoming students. Instead of requiring SAT and ACT scores, these schools will award scholarships based on high school GPA. [...]
September 17, 2020
by Izzy Hall
It’s new. It’s different. It can be frustrating. It’s probably how you’re experiencing school these days. It’s online education. The coronavirus has rapidly expanded the adoption of online, virtual and distance learning, from college all the way down to elementary school. As a relatively new practice, schools, students and staff have all had to make adjustments to their curriculums and their expectations. Students may be wondering – how can I be successful in online school? How can I make it work for me? Our new Online Education section has the answers to all of your online learning questions. [...]