College Tip of the Week: Financial Assistance Grants, Aid, Scholarships, Loans

In this section I will be discussing Financial Assistance. Public and Private.

First, I would like to make clear the difference between Grants, Scholarships, Student Loans, and Private Loans.College tips and tricks: Student loans and scholarships

  1. Grants: These are financial awards that NO repayment is required.
  2. Scholarships: These are financial awards that NO repayment is required.
  3. Student Loans: These are loans that require repayment at a low interest rate and payments deferred usually until 6 months following graduation.
  4. Private Loans: These are loans that require repayment based on the terms that you are given at the time of the loan.

As I mentioned in my article last week many Private Schools offer their own Grants and Scholarships. There are also some public Schools that do this as well. You need to go to the school website and look under Admissions and go to Financial Aid. There should be information regarding the types of Awards offered by that school. Public and Private.

Many schools will award money based on Need, GPA, Leadership, Community Service, Major, and more. This information will be listed in the Aid section of the website. Pay close attention to application Deadlines. Some schools have early deadlines and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to get money to help pay for school.
You should also go to FAFSA.com and apply for Aid. Many families do not do this because they think they make too much money to get any help. WRONG! You will be surprised at how much help you can get. This particular Aid is based on need. However, even if you feel that your finances don’t warrant Aid you should apply. You may not get as much as someone who has a higher need but you will be surprised at what you may qualify for.

Another site to check out is fastweb.com this site will help you find scholarships awarded for all types of things. Ranging from GPA to being the first person in your family to go to College. Some of these applications are as simple as writing an essay. While others take a bit more work to receive or be eligible for.
Parents check with your Companies. Some Companies offer Aid to their employees’ children who are planning to go to College.

Don’t be afraid to talk to the Financial Aid department of the School you are interested in attending. They can guide you through the Award process for their School.
Many of the Schools offering Awards based on GPA will award these each year you are attending as long as you keep your grades up and apply each year. Check to see if you need to reapply each year for this Aid or if it is automatic as long as your GPA is within the acceptable range. You don’t want to miss out on this Aid because you forgot or didn’t know you had to reapply.

As far as the Awards for GPA some schools will give this money as long as you meet the requirements while others put you in a pool with other students that qualify and choose form that pool. This is information that you will want clarified.

When it comes to Loans there are many that you can apply for. Student Loans, Private Loans, Bank Loans, and more. You can search these on the internet.

Some Credit Cards offer student loans. Check with your credit card companies to see if this is something they offer.
When you fill out the FAFSA application this will also put you in the pool for Federally offered Student Loans.

REMEMBER: This does take a little work but in the long run you can possibly get Thousands in Aid to help pay for a College Education.

 

*Disclaimer: This information is based on personal experience and research. It is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed*

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