Financing A College Education

NEED-BASED FINANCIAL AID

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid – www.fafsa.ed.gov    (available Oct. 1 of the senior year)  Questions about the FAFSA?  Call 1-800-4-FED-AID
  • CSS Profile   https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/. Some institutions will require the CSSProfile. Only submit the CSS IF it is required, there is a fee per college/university.
  • For information on grants, loans, college work-study, etc. www.finaid.org
  • STA will host a Financial Aid Worksop on Oct. 17 from 4:30-5:30 pm (break during Parent-Teacher Conferences)
  • Specific questions about financial aid or your offer? Contact the admissions and financial aid offices at the institutions on your list.

SCHOLARSHIPS

The search for outside scholarships can be time-consuming, but very rewarding. You need to apply for many to get 1! Increase your odds by applying for local or lesser-known scholarships. There is no limit to how many you apply for so apply for all that are applicable to you and START EARLY! Spring of senior year when you see the final cost is TOO LATE! The peak outside scholarship application time is December through March of senior year. Many scholarships repeat year to year, make a list of scholarships that you want to apply for and use that as your guide for scholarships to watch for during your senior year.  Don’t Miss Deadlines!

SCHOLARSHIP SEARCH TIPS AND ITEMS TO TAKE NOTE OF

  • SPOT Scams: You should never have to pay money to be honored with a scholarship. Do NOT pay any fees for searches or to apply for merit or need based money.
  • Policies vary by institution as to how they process outside scholarships, some may decrease loans, institutional grants, etc.
  • Continue the scholarship search process while you are in college. Check out online search engines, the financial aid at your college and the department with your major.
  • Create a spreadsheet of possible scholarships that match your criteria. Include name, deadline, requirements, website, etc. Sort in deadline order and stay on top of it!

SEARCH ENGINES
(search by state, city, ethnicity, gender, future career interest, disability or hardship, medical condition, etc):

Also check out…

  • Parents’ employer & student’s employer
  • Church               
  • Community Foundations
  • Associations related to major(s) or interest areas, e.g. Society of Women Engineers
  • Local civic organizations (check with relatives on organizations likes Elks, DAR)