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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

Yale to Ditch "Freshman", "Upperclassmen", Adopt Gender-Neutral Terms

September 19, 2017

by Susan Dutca

In an effort to modernize, Yale will no longer use the terms "freshman" and "underclassmen" and will instead adopt gender-neutral terminology, such as "first-year" and "upper-level students." University officials still anticipate students and faculty to use the old terminology, since they're "deeply ingrained in our everyday language and in Yale's history."

The new terminology can be found in the Undergraduate Regulations and the First-Year Handbook and is expected to appear in all Yale College's publications and communications by the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. The effort to phase out the older terminology is "a piece of a larger movement to reflect the diversity of college campuses" and also in part because the "two words in particular are gendered," according to Jennifer Keup, Director Of the National Resource for the First-Year-Experience and students in Transition. [...]

Senate Bill to Make College Affordable and Accessible for Homeless, Foster Care Youth

September 13, 2017

by Susan Dutca

A bipartisan group of U.S House of Representatives and U.S. Senate lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would help homeless students and foster youth get the financial support they need for college. The bill would also remove other barriers to higher education, such as providing housing options, improving outreach, and streamlining the FAFSA to homeless and foster care students. [...]

Harvest Fall Scholarships for College

September 7, 2017

by Susan Dutca

Enjoy a seasonal treat this season with fall scholarships from Scholarships.com to help pay your college tuition bill. Harvest some of the largest dollar scholarships, most prestigious scholarships, and brand name scholarships out there with our list of October scholarships. These autumn scholarships are so good you'll scream! So hurry and apply for these scholarships due in October and don't let them fall by the wayside. For a complete list of scholarships due in October, click here. [...]

Last Reviewed: September 2017