Financial Aid Scholarships
Financial aid comes in a variety of means, some of which require more work and research than others. Once you have submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are waiting on your Student Aid Report, you should still be searching and applying for scholarships. A college grant or scholarship is a financial aid award given to a student based on a number of factors. Scholarships are most often awarded for scholastic merit or financial need, but can also be awarded based on qualities such as musical talent or outstanding leadership within a community or group.
Hopefully, in planning for your upcoming academic year, you’ve prepared to fill out your FAFSA form, which is the first step toward receiving any federal, state and some institutional financial aid. When you submit your FAFSA, you will automatically be applying for federal grants. There’s the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant, the Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant, and the Federal Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will tell you what grants you are eligible for.
Finding scholarships can be a time-consuming but rewarding task. Start by applying for scholarships that are most specific to you, whether that is merit scholarships, athletic scholarships, or international scholarships. Unfortunately, there is a gap in education finance that isn’t openly discussed – the family that is not eligible for federal financial aid, but cannot afford to pay the cost of attendance without assistance. Scholarships, along with private student loans, can often help bridge this gap.
Be Persistent in your Financial Aid and Scholarship Search
To begin your financial aid scholarship search and application process, you must search both locally and nationally. Consider your unique strengths and abilities and focus on scholarships that award based on your strengths. Use time-saving scholarship search resources on the Internet and start your scholarship applications as soon as possible. Apply early and apply often to maximize your college scholarship award potential.
Remember: In order to not miss out on any financial aid opportunities, be sure to check in with your school’s financial aid office about all scholarships and loans affiliated with the school.