Free money, you don't have to pay back!!! Taking the time to apply for scholarships, no matter how small the dollar amount has proven to be very worthwhile for many students! Just think about it this way- You spend an hour filling out an application, writing an essay and finalizing a scholarship for $200, if you receive it, you just worked for $200 an hour!
Frequently used websites for national scholarship searches: www.fastweb.com; www.cappex.com; www.scholarships.com
College/University Scholarships & Work Study Programs
Many colleges offer automatic scholarships based on GPAs, class ranks, ACT/SAT scores and financial need. After applying to specific colleges check for scholarship prior to December 1st -Many have priority scholarship deadlines and you do not want to miss out!
Also check into Work Study programs available at schools you apply to! This can be a great way to get money for college and build resume by making contacts and working through different experiences!
FAFSA: Students and parents MUST apply to the Free Application for Federal Aid no later than April 1st each year beginning their senior year of high school! The FAFSA relies on tax and household information to come up with dollar amounts your student can expect to receive in federal grants and loans as well as the amount the family will be expected to contributed.
You can fill out the FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov - Watch out for scamming sites, you should never have to give credit card information when filling out the FAFSA!
Student loans should be viewed as a last resort! Many student loan programs (YES-even government loans) have high interest rates ranging from the low end of 4% all the way up to 8% or more! Many Federal loans hover around 5-6% interest! They usually compound monthly or quarterly!
Never take out more money than you absolutely need to cover tuition. You can save money by renting or borrowing text books and not buying expensive campus meal programs. A part-time job can also go a long way in helping you pay for extra expenses (and fun activities, of course!)