Scholarships are the financial support given to a student based on academic achievement or other criteria and not based on the financial need. The basic idea of the scholarship is that it is the money given to you by somebody for paying the tuition and fees in college or university. The scholarships maybe for a short period or the entire course. The U.S. Department of Education's National Centre for Education Statistics conducted the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) to learn the different aids students and families seek to pay for postsecondary education.

  • There are over 2,600,500 eligible students seeking scholarships worth $50 billion who are enrolled at degree colleges and universities in full-time educational programs.

  • Around 31% of the scholarships were granted by state or local scholarships, 36% of the students received scholarships from civic and private organizations and groups. The majority of 48% of students were provided financial aid by the federal scholarships.

Find Scholarships based on your requirements

Awards

354,950

Amount

$51.5K

Are you a sports enthusiast and want to pursue sports? Do you know the eligibility requirements to get sport scholarships? Do you know how many types of scholarships are available in your sport?

Athletic Scholarships are available from a wide variety of sources, ranging from the university you choose to attend to numerous private institutes. They can either be full ride scholarships or partial scholarships.If you want the answers to all the above questions, this article will be a good read.

Awards

5,514,295

Amount

$741.6K

 Graduate students are faced with tuition costs that can be twice those of undergrad programs. There is a wide range of college scholarships and grants available worldwide for graduate students. The only problem is that these scholarships are highly competitive. Thus it is important for you to search well to know the perfect scholarship that you are eligible for. Read this article, we have provided you an overview of graduate scholarships and the general criteria required by any university or college.

Awards

12,325,192

Amount

$1.57M

Are you looking for scholarships as a help to pay for your tuition fees? If yes, then scholarships for high school students are probably the most popular.Many scholarship providers award students in their academic careers, by funding their education in their dream schools.Federal financial aid such as student loans and scholarship money can really help. An early start will help you save more money. Hence to know more about High School Scholarship,this article is a good read.

Awards

8,908,467

Amount

$1.04M

If you are planning for college education then you must have faced the question: what major are you going to take? What are you planning to study? Have you ever heard of Scholarship by major? well, if yes then that’s great. Yes, Scholarships are also offered for specific majors. If you are looking for a College Scholarship in a particular major then this article might give you meaningful insights. As in this article we will be discussing different College scholarships by majors, Scholarships where major matters, different scholarships based on your interest.

Awards

16,577,715

Amount

$1.96M

Colleges look at your academic background, past rankings, scores of international examinations, and your overall academic track record before qualifying for a grant. So, are you that someone who has strong credentials, the one who can demonstrate some specific activities, and has unique abilities? 

Merit scholarships are one of the most competitive forms of college scholarships. Many merit scholarships are typically related to academic performance. Various other merit scholarships also focus on community service, professional or business experience, artistic skills, athletic excellence, or leadership skills. Read this article to get an overview of various merit scholarships offered by different organizations, schools, and universities.

Awards

2,384,382

Amount

$374.3K

Do you belong to a minority group? Are you dreaming of pursuing education in order to be in a better position but worried about the money involved in gaining it? 

You do not have to worry about it. In order to promote diversity on college campuses and to make higher education reach all students, there are various scholarships offered to minority students by college scholarships, organizations, groups, and more. 

Awards

8,990,624

Amount

$1.35M

Did you know that where you live could help you get a college scholarship? No matter where you stay, are what you are pursuing. You will get money to pay for your college without any burden. Yes, that’s right. Scholarship by State is all about location. 

These scholarships may be offered by state schools, community-based organizations, and state-based career initiatives, among others. You can make use of this opportunity and get funding for your education. 

Check out the scholarships in your state and apply for them now.

Awards

3,348,806

Amount

$622.0K

In a society, how do you identify yourself?

Are you a single mom or dad? Are you part of some important legacies? Are you a left-hander? Are you a victim of different effects caused by the 9/11 incident? Do you have any unusual interests and talents?

There are many organizations that are offering scholarships for you to support your education without any burden.

Check the scholarships and apply online.

Awards

16,144,439

Amount

$2.13M

Every year a large number of students pass out the schools looking for better career prospects. These days the quality education in colleges is highly pricey. To get the solution for this problem a wide range of government and non-government institutions offer scholarships for college students. Scholarships are one of the best ways to reduce the cost of college fees. Students can contact the scholarship provided to get the full information about the scholarship they want to apply for. 

In this article, we have provided you an overview of college scholarships for undergraduate students, the basic requirement and the process to apply for undergraduate scholarships.

Education will help you attain a better life and position in this everyday changing practical world. But, not all students can afford a good education and this should not be the reason for one to hold back their dreams. That is when financial aid comes into action. 

Financial Aid is the monetary support and help given to the learners either by the state government or by the college in order to pay for their schooling.  

Types of Financial Aid given to students:

  • Federal Student Loans

  • Grants

  • Scholarships

  • Employment

  • Private Student Loans

The main focus here is on scholarships. So, let us begin- continue reading to know every aspect of scholarships.

Table of Contents

  • An Overview of Scholarships

  • Classification of Scholarships

  • Notable Types of Scholarships

  • How to apply for Scholarships?- Brief guide on FAFSA

    • Eligibility Criteria for FAFSA

    • When to apply for FAFSA?

    • How to Fill FAFSA?

  • Should I Repay the Scholarship Amount?

  • What if the scholarship amount is not enough?

An Overview of Scholarships

Scholarships are the financial support given to a student based on academic excellence in various fields such as education, sports, cultural events, or other criteria and not based on the financial need. The basic idea of the scholarship is that it is the money given to you by somebody for paying the tuition and fees in college or university. The scholarships maybe for a short period or the entire course. 

An important consideration when you are applying for scholarships is that many schools ask you to report your scholarships, and whatever amount of money you receive from scholarships will be subtracted from your grants in a process called "scholarship displacement". 

The scholarship programs act as the pathway for many students to pursue higher education as it provides the necessary financial aid for the students to pay the college and related expenses.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Centre for Education Statistics conducted the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) to learn the different aids students and families seek to pay for postsecondary education.

There are over 2,600,500 eligible students seeking scholarships worth $50 billion who are enrolled at degree colleges and universities in full-time educational programs.

Around 31% of the scholarships were granted by state or local scholarships, 36% of the students received scholarships from civic and private organizations and groups. The majority of 48% of students were provided financial aid by the federal scholarships.

Classification of Scholarships

Scholarships come in all shapes and sizes. Knowing and searching the types of scholarships that are out there will ensure that you find any and every scholarship for which you qualify. The most common scholarships may be classified as follows.

Merit-Based Scholarships 

  • These are the awards based on a student's academic, artistic, athletic, or other abilities, and often factor in an applicant's extracurricular activities and community service record. 

  • The most common merit-based scholarships, awarded by either private organizations or directly by a student's intended college, recognize academic achievement or high scores on standardized tests. 

  • Most such merit-based scholarships are paid directly by the institution the student attends, rather than issued directly to the student.

Need-Based Scholarships 

  • These are the aid given to students who prove their financial inefficiency or incapability to pay for college or university education.

  • Some private need-based awards are confusingly called scholarships and require the results of the family's EFC which is certainly described in the FAFSA. 

  • Nonetheless, scholarships are often merit-based, while grants tend to be need-based.

Student Specific Scholarships

  • As the name itself indicates, this kind of financial assistance is mainly focused on students.

  • These are scholarships for which applicants must initially qualify based upon gender, race, religion, family, and medical history, or many other student-specific factors. 

  • Minority scholarships are the most common awards in this category.

Career Specific Scholarships

  • As the name itself indicates, this kind of financial assistance is mainly focused on one’s career perspective and ambitions.

  • These are the scholarships a college or university will award to students who plan to pursue a specific field of study in order to achieve their dream career. 

  • Many schools in the United States give future nurses full scholarships to enter the field.

  • Often, the most generous awards to students who pursue careers in highly needed areas such as education or nursing. 

College Specific Scholarships

  • These are offered by individual colleges and universities to highly qualified applicants. 

  • These scholarships are given on the basis of academic achievement. 

  • This is particularly the case with education and nursing scholarships for people prepared to work in rural and remote areas. 

  • The programs offered by the uniformed services of the United States sometimes resemble such scholarships.

Brand Scholarships

These are the scholarships also known to be branded scholarships sponsored by a big named corporation or management. Usually, the ones that are trying to gain attention to their brand, or a cause maybe. 

Creative Contest Scholarships

These are the scholarships which are also known as mini project-based scholarships that are awarded to students based on a creative, productive and artistic submission. Here, students can submit listings based on unique, famishing, and innovative ideas.

Last Dollar Scholarships

  • It is provided by private and government-based institutions and these are to cover the residual fees charged to a student after the other grants are taken into consideration. 

  • These scholarships are not offered until after financial aid has been offered in the form of an official letter.  

  • This kind of scholarship may ask details regarding the source of financial help, bank details of your family, personal information, tax information, and also regarding the loans taken (if any).

Notable Types of Scholarship

By now, we know the different categories of scholarships, now let us discuss the various notable scholarships under which there are plenty of other scholarship aids provided by organizations and management.

  • Athletic Scholarships

  • Cancer Scholarships

  • Community Service Scholarships

  • Full Ride Scholarships

  • Full Tuition Scholarships

  • LGBTQ Community Scholarships

  • Scholarships for African American Students

  • Scholarships for Hispanic and Latino students

  • Scholarships for Students Challenged with Illness or Disability

  • Unusual Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships

An athletic scholarship is a form of a scholarship to attend a college or university or a private high school awarded to an individual based predominantly on his or her ability to play in a sport. 

It is awarded to students with exceptional skill in a sport. Often this is so that the student will be available to attend the school or college and play the sport on their team, although in some countries government funded sports scholarships are available, allowing scholarship holders to train for international representation.

Eligibility Requirements for Athletic Scholarships

Various scholarship programs will have different criteria, however, the basic requirements for these scholarships are as mentioned below.

  • You must be a citizen or legal non-resident of the United States.

  • You must be enrolled or planning to be enrolled in an accredited college or university.

  • You must play a sport.

  • You must have a sports certification.

  • Some scholarship programs require a minimum cumulative GPA.

How to Get Athletic Scholarships?

In order to achieve an athletic scholarship, you may have to follow the 5 simple steps as mentioned below. 

  • Understand what Division level that matches your skillset and then start researching colleges. 

  • Collect all the necessary information you require to enroll for the college. 

  • Communicate with the college and university sports or athletics officials or coaches and collect details. 

  • Manage your college recruiting process.

  • Collect and evaluate your athletic scholarship opportunities.

School-based athletics scholarships can be controversial, as some believe that awarding scholarship money for athletic rather than academic or intellectual purposes is not in the institution's best interest.

The students are required to maintain minimum academic standards and the student should be considered an amateur athlete. The scholarship can be reimbursed if the student doesn’t go by the coach’s instruction and underperformance factors.

Some of the Athletic Scholarships are as follows:

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation Minority Scholarship

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation Women’s Scholarship

  • Sports Unlimited Scholarship

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association Foundation High School Scholarship

  • Jerry Martin Memorial Scholarship

  • Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program

  • Positive Coaching Alliance Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarships

  • BigSun Athletic Scholarship

  • Wear Action Scholarship

  • Iron Company Fitness and Education Scholarships

Cancer Scholarships

Many colleges and universities have contingency funds to provide additional assistance to students who are suddenly faced with a serious illness. Also, many public and private organizations offer college scholarships to students who have been affected by cancer. 

According to a journal Pediatric Blood and Cancer, childhood cancer survivors are more likely to have difficulty finding employment as compared with healthy people. The entire experience is draining both emotionally and financially.

Students who are fighting cancer must often interrupt their education and cannot work to save money for college or participate in extracurricular activities. 

Cancer survivors find it more difficult to find health, life, and disability insurance, and the insurance that is available to them is usually much more expensive. They are not eligible for military scholarships, such as ROTC scholarships. 

Some of the Cancer Scholarships are as follows:

  • Jeff Apodaca Celebration of Life Scholarship

  • Cancer Survivors Fund

  • Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation

  • Michael A. Hunter Memorial Scholarship

  • Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship Foundation

  • Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults

  • National Collegiate Cancer Foundation

  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the United States

  • The SAMFund: Surviving and Moving Forward

  • The Vera Yip Memorial Scholarship Award

These scholarships are awarded for Children of Parents Who Have/Had Cancer also. Here are a few of them.

  • MaryEllen Locher Foundation

  • LIFE Lessons Essay Contest for Students

  • PinkRose Foundation

Community Service Scholarships

Voluntary and Community service scholarships are a nice way of doing well by doing good as it rewards you for helping others. Community service instills a sense of purpose and direction as well.

Students who are involved in volunteering and community service should ask whether there are any awards available at the location where they perform their community service. It is very common for hospitals and nursing homes, veterans groups, churches, historical societies, fraternal organizations, and other community service organizations to provide scholarships to recognize outstanding community service by young volunteers.

Are you wondering how many Community Service Hours are required to attain this scholarship? Here is your answer- The number of community service hours needed for a scholarship varies. In some cases, a scholarship committee may stipulate how many hours you need.

Benefits of Community Service

It is important to know how community service plays a vital role in your education and experience. So, now et us know the benefits of being involved in community service.

  • Students who participate in community service activities related to their future career goals can skip the competition and college-planning process by gaining real-world experience. 

  • Volunteering can also improve students’ skill sets and help prepare them for work experiences totally unrelated to their community service work.

  • The people you meet while volunteering will grow your social and professional circle and may also write letters of recommendation for your college and scholarship applications.

  • It can serve as references when job-searching, and potentially help you find a job opportunity. 

  • Working with others gives you a chance to build networking skills, which will be necessary later in your professional life.

  • Exposure to new people and different environments can help shape the direction of your life and the way you view the world around you. 

Some of the Community Service Scholarships are as follows:

  • Alliant Energy Community Service Scholarship

  • Angie Houtz Memorial Scholarship Fund

  • AXA Achievement Community Scholarship Program

  • Comcast Foundation Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship

  • Disabled American Veterans Youth Volunteer Scholarships

  • Disneyland Resort Celebrating Community Service Scholarship

  • Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation Scholarships

  • Minnesota Historical Society Student Volunteer Services Scholarship

  • Washington Hospital Service League Volunteer Scholarships

  • Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger Scholarships

Full Ride Scholarship

A Full Ride Scholarship is a financial award given to students in order to cover the entire cost of the college expense that includes the cost of textbooks, room, full tuition fee, school materials, and monthly stipend including living expenses and study abroad expenses. 

These are a few important points you must know about the Full Ride Scholarship.

  • These scholarships are generally awarded to the most brilliant students. 

  • Some colleges may provide additional benefits to the winners of the Full Ride Scholarship award.

  • Amongst the students registered in the college, around 1 to 3 percent get a Full Ride Scholarship that covers the full cost of their studies.

  • The specifications can change from scholarship to scholarship, but in reality, the full-ride covers more than just tuition.

Some of the Full Ride Scholarships are as follows:

  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship

  • Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship

  • JPMorgan - Thomas G. Labrecque Smart Start Program

  • Microsoft Tuition Scholarship

  • Regeneron Science Talent Search

  • Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway

  • USDA/1890 National Scholars Program

  • Air Force ROTC Scholarships

  • SMART - Science, Mathematics & Research for Transformation

  • Flinn Foundation Scholarships

Full Tuition Academic Scholarships

Full Tuition Scholarships are the financial aid given to students in order to cover the tuition cost incurred at the college, not necessarily other fees like travel expenses, room, and board, various student fees, or other costs. These scholarships are often awarded by colleges as a way to attract talented students.

These are a few important you should know about Full Tuition Academic Scholarship:

  • Basically, this scholarship is defined to the tuition announced but it may include books, laboratories, or some other student expenses also. It is an advantage that it covers at least full tuition and fees.

  • They are based on academic merit. It is awarded to the students who achieve high academic standards like scoring good in the ACT or SAT or achieving the required GPA. 

  • They are college-controlled 

  • These awards are only available to students who enroll at the indicated colleges.

  • It will cover the majority of your college costs for four years. 

Some of the Full Ride Scholarships are as follows:

  • Center for Women In Technology (CWIT) Scholars Program at UMBC

  • Chicago Police and Fire Scholarship - UChicago

  • Colorado Garden Show Scholarships

  • JWU Business Professionals of America (BPA) Scholarship

  • JWU Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Scholarship

  • JWU Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Scholarship

  • Sister Mary Ildephonse Holland Scholarship

  • The SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program

  • West Virginia PROMISE Scholarships

  • Jerome C. Byrne, John E. Veneklasen, R. Paul Nelson Scholarships- Aquinas College

LGBTQ Community Scholarships

The rights and acceptance of the LGBT community may have shown progress but that doesn’t mean that discrimination and intolerance don't exist. LGBT students face a variety of obstacles, financial ones included. They may have less support from their families and more demands on their expenses. LGBT students might also have fewer resources to work with, as some may choose not to fill out the FAFSA because of fears over selecting a gender.

Thankfully, several rights organizations have stepped forward to help LGBT students feel encouraged to embrace who they are and pursue their dreams.

Earning a scholarship can help relieve some of these concerns. The general requirements are as following:

  • Excellence in academics  

  • Geographic requirement 

  • Require candidates to submit transcripts

  • Letters of recommendation

  • Written essays

  • Other necessary information 

Students can use the Human Rights Campaign's scholarship database to find more of these general scholarships. You can also communicate with high school counselors and colleges in their state to find more regional opportunities.

Some of the LGBTQ Scholarships are as follows:

  • Bill Caspar Memorial Fund Diversity Scholarship

  • IES Merit-Based David Porter Diversity Scholarship

  • C.B. Arrott Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Scholarship

  • Russ Ty Gay and Lesbian Scholarship

  • Queer Asian & Pacific Islander Pride Scholarship

  • Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Law Students Association Scholarship

  • Marx and Marshall Gay and Lesbian Scholarship

  • Harry E. Jackson Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Scholarship

  • Michael A. Zamperini/W. Clay Burchell Endowed Scholarship

  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Scholarship - UCSD

Scholarships for African American Students

Are you an African American student wondering if you are eligible for scholarships? So, here is your answer- YES.

There are ample amounts of scholarships and grants for a college education from notable African American advancement organizations, like the NAACP, UNCF, and the Congressional Black Caucus, Inc. 

There will be so much to learn from someone who is not of your background and culture. It is as valuable as the academic knowledge, career preparation, and training you had in mind when you enrolled. 

This is one of the reasons why colleges offer financial aid packages to fill campuses with students of different cultures, and experiences. African American students are one of them.

African American scholarships are available in colleges and universities across the United States and beyond. You will also find that a majority of colleges across the country offer diversity scholarships and minority scholarships to these students who are qualified. 

Some of the Scholarships for African American Students are as follows:

  • Trustee Diversity Scholarship

  • Royce Osborn Minority Student Scholarship

  • Goldman Sachs MBA Fellowship

  • George Washington Carver Scholarship

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities Scholarship

  • Diversity Advancement Program Scholarship

  • Ralph Johnson Bunche Distinguished Graduate Scholarship

  • Duracell/National Urban League Scholarship and Internship Program

  • Goldman Sachs Scholarship for Excellence

  • African/African-American Nursing Student Scholarship

Scholarships for Hispanic and Latino students

In order to make the colleges and universities more accessible to all students without any discrimination based on their economic backgrounds, and belief in religion, they are tending to diversify their campuses. 

Many scholarships are restricted to minority students which also includes Hispanic students. Hispanics and Latinos are less likely than other groups to have student debt because of scholarships, federal aid, and attendance at schools with lower tuition.

It is recorded that education received among U.S. Hispanic and Latino students has increased significantly in the last few years. If you qualify, find how you can be rewarded for being of Hispanic descent when it comes to supporting your higher education dreams.

Some of the Hispanic scholarships may require an essay or video, but the common thread is that they are available to those with Hispanic or Latino bloodlines. 

Some of the Scholarships for Hispanic and Latino students are as follows:

  • Hispanic Heritage Youth Award

  • Colorado State Fair Fiesta Pageant Scholarship

  • Smithsonian Latino Studies Fellowship

  • Goldman Sachs Scholarship for Excellence

  • Hispanic Association Scholarship

  • FUNED Scholarship for Mexican Nationals

  • Hispanic Scholarship Council Scholarship

  • Lupe and Anselmo Calderon Endowed Scholarship for Latino Students

  • Vaughn Scholarship for Students of Color

  • Procter & Gamble Professional Oral Care/ HDA Foundation Scholarship

Scholarships for Students Challenged with Illness or Disability

Here are some statistics with respect to disabled students attending college. Take a look at it. The percentage of students along with the disabilities who continue to study postsecondary education is as follows.

  • 47.3% with a Learning disability

  • 77.8% with Visual impairment

  • 54.6% with Speech disorder

  • 57.3% with Autism

  • 71.5% with Deaf and hard of hearing

  • 53.2% with Orthopedic disability

The distribution of students with disabilities is as follows.

  • 7% of enrolled college students have limited mobility.

  • 11% have a chronic illness or other physical impairments.

For students facing challenges with illness, handling these additional hurdles are truly admirable. The scholarships awarded will be of great help to them to achieve and gain knowledge. Such students prove, time and time again, that anyone can accomplish educational goals with motivation and determination.

Some of the Scholarships for Students Challenged with Illness or Disability are as follows:

  • CIEE/MIUSA Access to the World Scholarship

  • Mobility Disability Scholarship

  • Chairscholars Foundation Florida Scholarship

  • Robert B. Betts Endowed Distinguished Academic Scholarship

  • Mouse Hole Scholarship

  • James "Rhio" O'Connor Memorial Scholarship Fund

  • Alabama Scholarships for Dependents of Blind Parents

  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Students Scholarship Program 

  • Cystic Fibrosis Scholarship Foundation (CFSF) Scholarships

  • Matrix Health Group Memorial Scholarship Program

Unusual Scholarships

It is better to call it weird scholarships than unusual scholarships. The eligibility requirements for these scholarships might be strict and complex but that doesn’t mean you won’t find an unusual scholarship for which you qualify.

There is a reason why it is called unusual. Take a look at the list of characters below for which these scholarships are given. 

  • Physical Characteristics 

  • Creativity Skills

  • Last Name of yours

  • Field of Study 

  • The Final Frontier

  • Animal Appreciation 

  • Related to food

  • Related to your Activity

  • Good works or services 

  • Based on what you don’t do

  • Twins 

  • Legacies 

Some of the Unusual Scholarships are as follows:

  • Little People of America Scholarship

  • National Make It Yourself with Wool Competition

  • UNIMA Grants and Scholarships for Poetry

  • American Welding Society Scholarships

  • Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest

  • AACT National Candy Technologists Scholarship

  • Hiram College Hal Reichle Memorial Scholarship

  • Paula Nieto Twin Scholarship

  • The University of Texas at Dallas Chess Scholarship

  • David Letterman Telecommunications Scholarship

How Do I Apply for College Scholarships?- Brief Guide on FAFSA

The process of applying for college scholarships may be different depending on the specific scholarship and its requirements. But one of the common steps is to complete the FAFSA, writing essays, and submitting letters of recommendation. 

It is important to know what is FAFSA and how it works in order to be able to receive scholarships. So here it goes, all the necessary information you need to know about FAFSA:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the abbreviation of FAFSA which is initiated by the federal government of the US to help students achieve financial aid from the state government, and most colleges and universities.

Based on the information provided by the applicant about their age, marital status, and other demographic information, FAFSA categorizes students into 2 possible ways.

  • Dependent students will need to provide their parents’ income information while filling out the FAFSA. 

  • Independent students do not have to provide this information but have to provide information about their spouse in case they are married. 

The Student Aid Report will be sent to the student to figure out the exact amount of financial aid awarded. The amount can be calculated by subtracting the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the Cost Of Attendance ( COA). 

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family’s financial strength. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also, your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year are considered.

Financial Aid = Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Eligibility Criteria for FAFSA

In order to meet the financial need, students must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for such aid:

  • Be a U.S.citizen or an eligible non-citizen.

  • Should have a valid Social Security Number.

  • Should have a high school diploma or GED test result.

  • Should have maintained a Satisfactory Academic Progress.

  • Should not have been found guilty of the sale or possession of illegal drugs while federal aid was being received.

When to apply for FAFSA?

FAFSA provides financial aid on a first come first serve basis. The sooner you complete and submit the FAFSA, chances are you’ll receive a higher amount of financial aid. Usually, the FAFSA submission opens on 1st October every year for courses for the following year. The deadline for FAFSA submission is 30th June of the same year the academic session ends. 

How to Fill FAFSA?

Here is a step by step guide on how to fill a FAFSA application.

  • Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID

  • Gather All Information Beforehand like Social Security Number, your family size and family income, your personal information and income, your list of selected colleges that you are keenly interested in applying.

  • Provide Student Information

  • Provide Parent Information

  • Provide Financial Information

  • Review FAFSA Application

  • Sign and Submit the FAFSA 

Once you submit your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) within 3-5 working days if you have applied through a valid email address, otherwise, you will receive it within 7-10 working days via the postal address that you have provided in your form.

The colleges that you have applied for through FAFSA will have access a day after it is processed. However, the college authorities might not check your application immediately.

Should I Repay the Scholarship Amount?

Are you wondering if you have to pay back the scholarship amount you received in the academic year? So the answer is- Technically NO you do not have to, but there are a few situations where you might have to repay the award received. Let us now discuss such circumstances that will cost you.

  • You will have to pay back the scholarships when you drop out of college. The unused portion of their scholarship depending on the refund policies will have to be repaid.

  • Under certain conditions like the death of a family member or illness and other critical situations, you can still keep the scholarship which depends on the policies of the scholarship. 

  • Withdrawal from the program after receiving your scholarship may lead you to lose the scholarship or you will have to repay depending on the scholarship provider.

  • When a scholarship provider awards the money, you have to be conscious about the terms for what and where you can use your scholarship money. If you are being irresponsible in maintaining credit hours, you may have to lose the scholarship and repay the unused fund. 

  • If you have received an academic scholarship, then you should be aware that if you don’t maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA as a graduate and a 2.0 GPA  as an undergraduate student, you will have to either lose the scholarship or pay back the money awarded.

  • If you are found guilty for any illegal activities, on the basis of disciplinary action then it will be revoked immediately under IRC section 117. Illegal activities include malpractice on your resume, drugs, crime, and more. 

What if the scholarship amount is not enough?

If you are wondering what if the scholarship amount is not enough to cover for all the expenses related to education, here are some tips you can consider to overcome the situation.

Grants

  • The main advantage of achieving a grant would be that you don’t have to repay the award received like scholarships. 

  • There are many sources of grant funding, including Pell Grants from the federal government and grants from individual states.

  • Most of the grants are need-based, while others are awarded based on academic performance. 

  • To be eligible for federal or state grant funding, you’ll need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Savings

It is considered to be a great way to fund your education with your savings. It can eliminate the need for student loans and it is definitely a better choice than loans. Wondering why? will discuss it in further points.

Join a Community College

  • Attending a community college is much cheaper and easier to fund with savings. Community college students pay an average annual tuition of just $3,440 which is approximately three times less than those at a four-year school.

  • Since the cost of community college is so low, you may be able to fund most of your first two years of college with the money you already have in the bank (savings) or scholarship may help you with that.

529 savings plans

These are the strategic plans that are sponsored by states, provisional agencies, or educational institutions which are mostly understood as a qualified tuition plan and these are intended in order to encourage students in gathering money for future training costs and also these are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. 

There are two types of 529 plans are as follows. 

  • Education Savings Plans: It is a plan that will let an account holder start investing to save for the receiver’s future higher education expenses such as tuition, room, and board. 

  • Prepaid Tuition Plans: It is a plan that will let an account holder purchase credits at joining schools and colleges for tuition and compulsory fees at current prices.

Part-time jobs and paid internships

As you can start repaying the loans while you are studying itself, there are many opportunities during college summer to earn money by doing internships. Search for paid internships online as there are many internships that do not pay. So be conscious while applying for one. Part-time work is a good option as you can see many of the students do such jobs to earn basic requirements but you can use it to repay loans.

Work-study programs 

These are a form of financial aid, so you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA. Your school must also include work-study as part of your financial aid package in order for you to be eligible for a job. 

Eligibility is based on financial need, so you’re more likely to be offered this option if your family doesn’t have a lot of income.

Federal student loans

Federal Student Loans are the funds provided by the government in order to assist and help students to pay for their college and the catch here they will have to repay the amount later. Federal loans for students provide many more borrower protections than private loans.

Different types of federal loans are as follows.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans- The average award is $4,074

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans- The average award is $4,807.

  • Direct PLUS Loans- The average amount awarded is $12,349.

Many students try to avoid loans to pay for college as it will be a burden for them in the mere future and it is the reason why scholarships and grants are so popular.

Private student loans

  • It is better to opt for private loans when you are exhausted from other sources of funding, including federal student loan opportunities or the award money you have earned is not sufficient. 

  • It is because the interest rates will be higher than the federal loans which make it difficult and stressful to pay back in the future. These are also ineligible for consolidation with any federal loans.

  • Be sure to carefully compare the interest rates, loan terms, and customer feedback on private lenders to find the right loan for your situation.

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