Home > School and Learning > By Grade > College > Paying for College > Tips for Students: Hunting for College Money
|

Tips for Students: Hunting for College Money

Treasure Hunting
"I never thought that the local fireman's union would offer a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior in our high school . . . until I got it. I wish I'd checked out more resources rather than just focusing on national scholarships."

– Recent Grad, Wesleyan University

There are so many places to find money for college, and you should make sure you consider them all. Big or small, local or national, you should check into every resource. The billions of dollars given out in financial aid each year can help you pay for college, but they won't come looking for you.

Look everywhere. For example, your parents' employers might offer tuition benefits. The local business owners' association may have a scholarship for students planning to study business. The armed forces offer several options for students, including the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, which pays for tuition, fees, and books, and gives you a monthly allowance in exchange for a service commitment. There are tons of essay contests that are based on a certain topic or a book – even if the particular topic is not one you know a lot about, do some research, read the book, and write the essay.

A great place to visit to check into the many sources of aid for college is www.finaid.com. It has clear explanations of every potential source, as well as links to scholarship search engines, specific programs, and government offices.

Deadlines Rule
"Be sure to read college publications for the DUE DATE of application materials for financial aid. The money awarded, especially at private institutions, is limited and late filers can be denied simply because they failed to meet required deadlines."

– Financial Aid Advisor, Lehigh University

Can you imagine anything worse than going through all the work of writing essays and filling out applications only to miss a deadline? Everything has a deadline, from the FAFSA to individual scholarship applications. To keep them all straight, write them down on your calendar or in your organizer that you regularly use.

And here's a little cheat technique that we've found works really well – if an application is due on March 1, mark it down as due on February 15 so that you remember to send it out and get it there before the deadline. Every time you learn about a new scholarship that you plan to apply for, mark the due date in your calendar. Make sure that you know whether the due date is when your application must be postmarked or actually received. And never, ever, ever wait until the day before the deadline to submit your application – you never know what might happen to it in the postal service maze. Deadlines also change from year to year, so don't use last year's due dates, thinking they are the same as this year's.

<< Previous: The loan maze
|

From Getting through College without Going Broke by Students Helping Students®. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, go to Amazon.


highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks