When working on ways to come up with funding to pay for college, it is in your best interest to thoroughly investigate the many available programs for scholarships and grants. Here are four top tips for locating scholarships and grants:
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid early. The sooner you find out about your eligibility for federal student aid, the better off you will be. When you know how much federal funding you can receive, you’ll have a better idea of how much additional money you will need to pay for your education. You should file your FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible in the year that you plan to start school. Talk to your high school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors receive notifications about many different types of programs offering scholarships and grants. Make sure your counselor thinks about you every time he or she learns about a new funding opportunity for which you might qualify. Research organizations to which you are connected. Many civic and professional organizations sponsor scholarship programs. Some programs are open to all students, and others have specific criteria. If you are planning to major in counseling, check with the local professional organization for counselors to see if the members sponsor a scholarship program. Additionally, some companies have scholarship competitions for their employees’ children. Get your parents to check with their employers. Research every possible source of grants for school. You may be surprised by what you discover in your own back yard. You’ll never know if you don’t ask!
If you meet the eligibility requirements for a scholarship or grant program, take the time to apply for it. You might not win every single award, but you can’t win anything if you don’t apply. Keep in mind that many scholarships are not awarded simply because no eligible candidates apply for them.
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