There are various ways you can adopt for paying the college fees. Here are some of the best ways to do so.
What are College Scholarships?
One way of paying for your post-secondary education is through scholarships that are available to college students. Unlike student loans, scholarships do not require you to pay it back in the future. Nowadays college scholarships and grants are not only reserved for students with good grades from previous education institutions or for students with excellent sports talents, but are accessible to everyone.
The major advantage of college scholarships is that you can obtain them without any repayment terms. In addition to that, they are available from various institutions, companies, and employers, together with colleges and universities. The amount of the scholarship granted varies from those that are enough to cover only part of the education program, to amounts that cover all studying expenses.
Different scholarships usually have different requirements and criteria for scholarship applicants’ selection. Before applying for college scholarships, consider the following:
- Your academic qualifications will play an important role in establishing your eligibility for a scholarship;
- You may be asked to take a written exam, complete a project, or write an essay to demonstrate your potential;
- College programs may specify how scholarship funds must be used;
- Failure to meet certain criteria may put at risk your eligibility to keep the scholarship.
In addition to this, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
- Be a high school senior or graduate at the time of application.
Scholarships are usually offered to a limited number of students per year.
Scholarships for college students can be classified in different ways. One type of scholarship includes those offered on the basis of sport: students who are talented in different sports have a greater chance to obtain scholarships. Furthermore, there are scholarships offered based on ethnicity: there are several organizations in the U.S.A. that assist people from minority ethnical groups like Indians, African Americans, or Hispanics to pay for college education.
Before you Apply
The first step you should take before applying for a college scholarship is to think about your future career. Decide what career you want to get into after graduation and then search for colleges that offer courses related to your future career.
After that, you should decide what type of financial aid for students is the best for you. If you have decided to apply for a scholarship, learn all about the particular scholarship you intend to apply for.
Scholarship forms are available online or at your school’s office. If the scholarship is provided by a private company, collect as much information as you can about the company, its goals, and business philosophy to avoid possible scholarship scams.
In case you are applying from a country that has a different educational system, it includes certification of language knowledge verified through internationally valid exams like IELTS or TOEFL in your application. Furthermore, make sure to provide transcripts from your previous educational institution and letters of recommendation written by your teachers or educational advisors.
After you have collected all the mentioned documentation, you should complete FAFSA in order to apply for your college scholarship. As most scholarships have deadlines for applying it is important to pay attention to this when applying. You can apply for more than one scholarship.
Another type of financial aid for students is grants for college students. This type of financial aid is particularly accessible to students in financial need, with the purpose of helping them pay for their learning expenses.
What makes student grants different from both, student loans and scholarships is that they are free to reward money. Unlike student loans that must be repaid and are primarily need-based, compared to traditionally merit-based scholarships. Student grants comprise the following categories: subject-specific, student-specific, and degree-level. The Federal and state governments, public and private organizations, and colleges and universities provide them.
Only a small number of grants are by the government for students who meet certain criteria and these grants include the TEACH Grant, the Federal Supplementary Education Opportunity Grant, the National SMART Grant, the Academic Competitiveness Grant, and the Pell Grants.
The TEACH Grant
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program, or TEACH Grant is a federal student grant by the Department of Education, that provides financial aid to college students who are eager to work as teachers in elementary and secondary schools designated as “low-income” schools. This grant can provide up to $4,000 a year and you have to sign a statement that obligates you to work in a low-income school after you graduate.
The Federal Supplementary Education Opportunity Grant
This offers funds from $100 to $4,000 per year and you must provide high financial need to be eligible. 25% of this grant is for the college and the remaining amount is provided by the Department of Education.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant
ACG grant provides you with up to $750 during your first year of undergraduate study and up to $1,300 for the second year of undergraduate study. To qualify for ACG, you must apply via the FAFSA and you must demonstrate the ability to achieve the appropriate level of education since this grant helps promote the taking of particular types of demanding majors and degree programs.
The National SMART Grant
The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talents Grant provides financial assistance to students who perform extremely well in certain math, science, and technology curriculums and it offers aid during their third and fourth years of undergraduate study up to $4,000 annually.
The Pell Grant
This grant provides a maximum of $5,000 per year and to qualify, you must prove that you are in “exceptional financial need”, as designated by the Department of Education.