Show Me the Money!

College is a big investment: emotionally, time commitment, and financially.

In this post, I will go over my tips to get more money for college.

The School

I put this one first because it’s so important. Develop a relationship with your admissions counselor from that school, call the financial aid and scholarship office to talk about your specific situation, and visit that school’s main admissions website and main scholarship website to check deadlines and learn about their process for how money is awarded.

School page too confusing or hard to navigate? Google what you are looking for….something like “University of ____ financial aid and scholarship”

Also, search for different departments on campus that might pertain to you. For example, are you a biology student? Check out the biology department’s website! Are you a multicultural student? Look at the school’s multicultural center website! Even if that office or center does not have a school-specific scholarship to give out to students they most likely have a list of external scholarships that pertain to the specific area.

Financial Aid

A student can qualify for state and federal aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which opens up on October 1 of each year. If you are applying to private schools you may also need to fill out the College Scholarship Service (CSS) PROFILE to qualify for nongovernment aid from the institution.

Two great resources to help understand financial aid are  https://studentaid.ed.gov/ and http://www.finaid.org

External Scholarships

One of my biggest regrets throughout the college search process was not applying for more external scholarships. One amazing feature with most external scholarships is they will follow you wherever you go, unlike university specific scholarships.  On your hunt for external scholarships here are a few resources I would recommend:

External Scholarship Tips:

  1. Set up a separate email address specifically for applying for scholarships. Still, choose something professional like a combination of your first name and last name and numbers. At some point, your application will most likely be read by people and an unprofessional email address could be a big turnoff!
  2. From my experience, it’s not the students with the highest GPAs, highest test scores, or the highest IQs who receive the most external scholarships. It’s the students who are persistent.

Do you have any scholarship or financial aid tips or resources? Let me know in the comments below!

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