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Financial Aid Tips

Besides doing your research and filling out a scholarship search profile on Scholarships.com, there are a number of things you can do make your financial aid application stand out. We have organized useful financial aid tips to help navigate the world of federal aid and scholarship applications so you can maximize your financial aid package. Outside of our financial aid tips, we have information on every step of the financial aid process, including scholarships, grants and student loans, so browse through the site to get your financial aid questions answered.

Prepare for the Best

There are millions of dollars in scholarships being awarded annually, despite economic crises. If you spend as much time seeking financial aid as applying to colleges you will have a good chance at lowering student loan debt. Remember to think local. Local scholarships are often less competitive and look at criteria beyond standardized test scores and GPAs. Make yourself a desirable candidate for scholarships by submitting professional applications that will impress judges. The more effort you put into the process, the greater the rewards you will receive.

Easy Ways to improve your Chances

Mistakes on your scholarship or financial aid application could hurt your chances winning. Even worse, you could disqualify entirely from an awards contest. Scholarships and grants are very competitive, so make a list for yourself and check it twice before submitting your application. Have someone else edit your essays, as spelling and grammar errors can be hard to miss. Keep a file for your applications so you don’t misplace any of the required paperwork. Make sure you’re using a reputable site such as Scholarships.com to conduct your free scholarship searches. If you have to pay for an application, or to search for scholarships, it is a scam. The best financial aid tips are the simple ones: follow directions and meet your deadlines.

Fill out your FAFSA carefully. An error on your FAFSA could delay the application process several weeks. If you have any questions, contact the Federal Student Aid Information center through the FAFSA website. Your intended college’s financial aid office will also be glad to help you. Most importantly, do not miss any deadlines. Apply as early as possible to have an idea of the funding you will receive, that way you have time to apply for additional funding. The FAFSA is available each year starting Jan. 1.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Harvard Supporters Back University in Admissions Trial

October 16, 2018

by Susan Dutca

Harvard students and alumni will testify in support of Harvard during the admissions trial this week, defending its "race-conscious admissions policy" against claims that it discriminates against Asian-American applicants. The trial is the latest chapter in a lawsuit filed in 2014 by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA).

Harvard University has been accused of "balancing its undergraduate classes to ensure that it had admitted its desired share of students of each race and ethnicity" and also for penalizing Asian-American applicants by "systematically giving them lower scores on a metric admissions officers use to measure personality." Adam Mortara, a lawyer representing SFFA, stated that the university scores applicants in four categories: academic achievement, athletic ability, extracurriculars, and personality. While referencing admissions data, he concluded that, despite their higher academic performance, Asian-Americans are admitted at lower rates. [...]

Professor Sent Abroad After Posting Hateful Tweets

October 9, 2018

by Susan Dutca

An associate professor in security studies at Georgetown University who, last week, wished "death and castration" to GOP senators supporting confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is no longer teaching but will be "traveling internationally for university research." [...]

File FAFSA Immediately for Best Chance at Getting Money for College

October 2, 2018

by Susan Dutca

The official 2019-2020 college financial aid season began yesterday, October 1st, so it is critical that you file your Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) ASAP! Whether you are headed to college for the first time next fall, or you plan on attending college next year, you will want to complete your FAFSA as soon as possible, as many states and colleges award financial aid on a first come, first served basis. [...]

Last Reviewed: October 2018