There are several items to complete on the high school senior checklist before high school graduation – one of which is finding scholarships to help pay for college. Although you may have been granted admission to your dream college, you still may need to cover the rest of your college dues if you didn’t land a full-tuition scholarship or your financial aid doesn’t foot the entire bill. Scholarships are an excellent way to supplement the cost of tuition, room and board, books and other expenses, especially since they don’t ever have to be paid back.
Federal aid comes in the form of federal grant programs, federal student loans and federal work-study programs.Federal Aid is subject to change based on government funding policies. Eligibility guidelines for FAFSA are available online for a quick application and fast processing, starting January 1 of every year. FAFSA will answer the majority of your questions, determine how much funding you can receive, and what federal funding programs you qualify for. You may find that you’re only eligible for Stafford Loans. Although Stafford Loans are not as desirable as grants, they do have lower interest rates than any private loan.
Research will help you understand financial aid information, and dispel popular misconceptions about the process. Many students believe they are either ineligible for scholarships, or that applying for scholarships is a waste of time. Truthfully, the financial aid process is the most important step you will take in the college application process. More than $130 billion is awarded each year to college-bound students. And while it helps to have an impressive academic record, much of the funding is needs-based. Once you’ve filled out your FAFSA, conduct a free scholarship search to find awards, and boost your financial aid package with money from scholarships and grants.
The optimal way to navigate the financial aid process is conducting thorough research. Luckily, we’ve done it for you. We update our site with the latest news on financial aid changes that affect how much you will receive from the government. Check out our links for updated financial aid news to determine what higher education institutions are doing to affect students’ financial aid packages. Always keep track of how government policies affect your ability to take out loans, get awarded grants, and pay for college.
While college is the most rewarding years in a student’s life, paying for college is not. No one wants high monthly payments or to be forced to default on payments, ultimately damaging your credit score. If you are faced with a higher tuition bill than anticipated, consider your options to cut your college costs and take advantage of the millions of dollars being awarded to students annually.
Academic Scholarships and Merit Scholarships
Scholarships.com can help you find all types of scholarships. Some of the more competitive of these are academic scholarships, or merit scholarships. Conduct a free college scholarship search in order to find all types of scholarships, academic included, for a better chance at discovering more opportunities. In order to receive an academic scholarship to pay for school,strong grades are encouraged, as well as ranking in the top five to ten percent of your graduating class. Merit scholarships are often related to academic performance, but can also be given to a candidate displaying artistic or athletic excellence, or even a combination of both. It is safe to say that, while all academic scholarships are merit scholarships, not all merit scholarships are academic scholarships. You have a chance at winning scholarships in this category if you are a generally strong student or in your area of study, and there are greater opportunities that come from extracurricular involvement.
Finding Academic Scholarships
Many merit scholarships offered by colleges and universities may require more than just academic excellence. Some may require an honorary title or being an scholarship awardee from esteemed or highly-recognized organizations and societies,such as National Merit Scholarships or the National Council of Teachers of English awards. Others simply require you to get a certain score on the ACT or SAT and/or to graduate in the top percentile. While these are common varieties of academic scholarships, few students qualify for large awards through their schools. Rather, students have more luck finding money for college through private providers of academic scholarship awards.
Academic Scholarship Opportunities
Academic scholarships all come with their own requirements regarding academic performance and extracurricular involvement. Merit scholarships can sometimes require community service involvement, or demonstrated leadership/leadership potential. School sports or politics are exemplary of this. Students in athletic leadership positions, such as team captains, or serving as class president, are highly appealing to organizations looking to bankroll the formal education of future leaders. In order to find the academic scholarship opportunities that are right for you, conduct a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com. By completing a free profile, you will have access to scholarship information for a myriad of awards that correlate to your education, experience, and background. Below is a list of some academic and other merit scholarships available in our database.