One of the biggest hurdles college-bound students face is how they’re going to pay for school. College and university tuition seems to increase every year, and that’s just part of the picture; you also have to consider books and supplies, room and board, and living expenses.
College financial aid and grant information can be confusing. For example, there are multiple types of loans, each with their own interest rates and fee schedules. To get the best financial aid package, you need to know the benefits and drawbacks of each type of loan, and also educate yourself about which college scholarships and grants are available to you in particular.
Our Financial Aid section provides extensive resources, including free expert college financial aid and grant information and advice.
We’ve collected the information in our Financial Aid resource center specifically to address the questions prospective students have about their college financial aid and grant search. For example, the questions “When should I start saving for college?,” and “When do I apply for financial aid?” are answered in the article Financial Aid 101: Isn’t There a Sale Around Here? by Carlin Carr.
The college financial aid tip she provides as the answer to the former question is, if you haven’t started saving already, start now. It’s never too late to start setting money aside; every little bit counts. Carr includes a handy timeline in answer to the latter question, and it pays to be prepared. If you’re planning to attend college, a great resource for student grants and scholarships is right at your fingertips: start searching the Internet.
In her article Five Tips for Paying for College, Christina Couch offers the following tip regarding your college financial aid and grant search tip when gathering financial aid and grant/scholarship information: start early. Couch recommends starting as early as your sophomore year in high school, as there are many sources of scholarships and grants. The more information you have, the more prepared you’ll be when it comes time to apply for financial aid. She also lists some often-overlooked sources of grants and scholarships, such as local organizations and corporations.
Another college financial aid tip the experts agree upon is to avoid scams. If a proposed college financial aid and grant/scholarship award seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are some telltale signs of a scholarship scam, the most telling of which is the processing fee. You should never have to pay a processing fee for a scholarship. Why would you have to pay to discover sources of free money? Further, beware of any scholarship that states you’ll receive a guaranteed award once you pay a small refundable processing fee. The award’s not guaranteed, and in all likelihood the fee is never coming back.
Other sure signs of a scam include notice of a reward for a contest you never entered, or a letter inviting you to a college financial aid and grant and scholarship seminar that guarantees a scholarship for attendance. There’s generally a seminar fee, and the “helpful seminar” usually rewards you not with a scholarship but with readily available information on scholarships you can apply for. Another solid college financial aid tip: no real scholarship is ever guaranteed.
More College Financial Aid and Grant/Scholarship Advice
Writer Paula Andruss fields additional college financial aid and grant/scholarship questions in her article Understanding Financial Aid Packages. Andruss advises you to carefully review each financial aid package against the total expense for each college to which you’ve applied. A school that seemed less expensive initially could offer a smaller package, or financial aid consisting primarily of loans without supplemental grants and scholarships. Both of these scenarios could actually make a lower-tuition school less affordable than a college or university with higher tuition.
In addition, you should know the basic college financial aid and grant/scholarship guidelines. Simply put, financial aid consists of loans, which you have to pay back according to the loan’s schedule and at interest rates that vary by the type of loan. Grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid, and work-study allows a student to work on campus, earning a wage that makes up part of his/her college financial aid.
In the article “I Can’t Afford College” and Other Financial Aid Myths, Rose Rennekamp explodes the college financial aid and grant/scholarship myth that asserts that a college-bound student must be either extremely smart, uncommonly talented, or very poor to qualify for financial aid. If you take the time and do the necessary research, you’ll be surprised at the many sources of financial aid. A key college financial aid tip: don’t give up before you’ve even begun to collect college financial aid and grant/scholarship possibilities.
Begin Your Research at CollegeView.com
CollegeView.com offers excellent tools for researching financial aid and other student information. We are a preferred college resource for college financial aid and grant information, as well as information regarding loan descriptions and in-depth advice from college and university financial aid counselors, admissions counselors, faculty, and students who share their experiences.
College-Bound Student Information
CollegeView offers an extensive amount of valuable information and resources for the college-bound student. Please follow these links to discover how our articles can help you in your choice for an educational pathway: