The costs of a college education can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you have to pay for it yourself. Millions of students each year get farther and farther into debt because of student loans. This is money they will have to be paid back once they are out of school and have a job. What a lot of students don’t realize is that there are free grants and scholarships available to many hard working students who take the time to look. When students are aware that this money exists they may not know where to find it or what to do to apply for the scholarship or grant. Here are the best ways to get free money for college.
First stop is at your schools financial aid center. They will help you apply for FAFSA, the free application for federal student aid. This is free money available for those students who qualify for government assistance. In my experience the money comes from a few different sources so each student will vary in how much they are qualified to receive from each individual source. Your financial aid office will also help you apply for any scholarships that are specific to your school. I know that my school has an online form for students to complete that is then used to apply electronically for all available scholarships.
The second place to go is in your community. Ask organizations to which you belong if they have any scholarship information available. Sometimes churches sponsor students or know philanthropist members of the congregatiuon that would be happy to help. Make sure it is an organization to which your active, these are the people who have watched you grow and most of the time someone knows of an opportunity for worthy students.
The next place to check is http://www.fastweb.com/ the largest online scholarship resource center is great for finding all kinds of free money for school. I have noticed I get a lot of calls from online universities and different branches of the military after signing up but I just politely ask to be removed from the list. Other than that the site is a great place to find opportunities. One of my favorite parts of the site is the mailing list, they will email you scholarships you are eligible for and you can apply through the link provided. There is another great College Scholarship available at http://www.Scholarship-Source.net which awards $10,000 to a different student every two weeks. This is one of many scholarships that takes only a few minutes to apply for that can bring higher education within reach for those in need.
Once you know where to look you need to know what to do. Requirements will differ for each scholarship that you apply to. Some will only ask for your contact information, like you full name, social security number, date of birth, and so on. However, some of the more competitive scholarships will also need your transcripts available from high school or from previously attended colleges, your GPA, and possibly a few letters of recommendation. When requesting the letter be sure to ask politely and let them know why you need it, once you have the letter keep it on file in order to reuse in the future. Lastly some scholarships will ask you to write an essay. They usually provide a topic and paper length. Treat this as an assignment, not only will they be reviewing what you say they will look at your writing style as well as your grammar and punctuation. Remember you are applying for money for college and want to show the benefactor that you are a hard working and dedicated student.
School doesn’t have to be expensive. With a little effort and a lot of inquiry you can find the money to earn your degree. Remember to have patience and don’t be discouraged if you are rejected from a few scholarships. The money is out there waiting to be claimed, what are you waiting for?
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