Incoming college freshman are usually worried about how they’re going to pay for college and are a little unsure of just how everything will unfold in the financial aid department. If Mom or Dad does not make enough income to pay for their college then creativity should be set in motion. But there are plenty of places to find money for college. Student loans are excellent for paying for college but student loans stack up and must be repaid eventually. On the other hand, free money for college can be found, but it just takes a little bit of digging around.
Many high schools will award their alumni scholarships for their college education. The scholarships that high schools have access to will often involve the student obtaining a certain GPA throughout his or her college career; some of these scholarships are renewable for all 4 years of college while other academic scholarships are a one-time award. Checking with your high school for any of these types of scholarships will definitely benefit your college academic career and will help you pay for it.
There are other places to look rather than just your high school. Your college also has access to scholarships. These college scholarships often do require that you have a competitive GPA, but some may need need-based also. They often require the student to fill out a form, often with an essay, biography, or short story about what they will do with their college degree after they graduate. Usually colleges and universities will often have deadlines for applying for these scholarships, so being on the lookout for these deadlines and getting everything submitted on time is of utmost importance.
This is a website that is a truly valuable scholarship source for high school students. By entering where you live, what college you’ll be attending, what your high school GPA is, and what activities you were involved in during high school, FastWeb compiles a list of many scholarships that you could apply for. The scholarships that FastWeb compiles usually involves writing an essay of some kind and submitting an application, if not many more requirements. The first time that I encountered FastWeb was when I was a senior in high school. I looked to FastWeb for a source of scholarship funding for my college education; unfortunately, I did not receive any of the scholarships that I applied for, but I’ve had many friends that had received them.
Government and State Grants
By filling out the FAFSA you are automatically considered for Federal and State financial aid. However, there are some government grants that are awarded to incoming freshman based on academic performance as well as some need-based grants. For example, the Pell Grant is a government grant that is totally need based and an incoming freshman can receive up to $4000 for the first year of school. Other government grants include the Academic Competitiveness Grant, as well as the SMART Grant. Individual State governments also have grants to hand out to students. For example, Ohio has the Ohio College Opportunity Grant, which gives over $2000 to eligible students.
Receiving free money for college can be a wonderful thing and all students need to do is tap into many of the resources that are available to make sure they receive scholarships and grants. They will be saving a whole lot of money if they stick to college scholarships and the many grants available, and it will definitely lessen how much they’ll need to repay in student loans at the end of their college career.