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FINANCIAL  AID  &  SCHOLARSHIPS
Dear Student:
Obtaining Financial Aid and Scholarships require a lot of patience and hard work. 

Do You Need Financial Aid:  The answer lies in many things.  - Where do you want to go to college?  How much money can your parents afford to spend on your college education for 4 years?  Are you going to be a full or part time student?  If part time, are you going to be working part time to pay for college?  The annual tuition, room, and board for a full time student can vary from say $8,000 to $50,000.  Do you and your parents have the resources to spend that much on you every year, for 4 years in a row?  The tuition is usually cheapest at a Community college, then at a state college (for in-state students), and last at private colleges. 

A GOOD EDUCATION IS SURELY A GREAT INVESTMENT IN YOUR FUTURE, AND THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD PUT YOUR MAXIMUM EFFORTS INTO IT ONCE YOU START COLLEGE.  IT IS ALWAYS WORTH IT, IF YOU STUDY HARD AND MAKE FULL USE OF ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES A COLLEGE OFFERS. 

What Is Financial Aid:  Financial Aid comprises Scholarships, Grants, Loans, on and off Campus Jobs, Athletic Scholarships, Tuition Wavers, as well as Military Aid.  They are awarded based on your Academic and Extracurricular Abilities and Achievments while in High School and also in many cases on your financial need.  National Merit Scholars have excellent chance of obtaining various scholarships and grants for their college education.  Many colleges follow Need-Blind Admission Policies; which means they give you admission whether or not you apply for and exhibit a need for financial aid to pursue your college studies.  See College Survey's Questions #36-38.  All these forms of financial aid require that you maintain a certain minimum grade point average in college and be enrolled as a full or part time student. 

Scholarships, Grants, and Athletic Scholarships are gifts which the students don't have to pay back.  But loans are debts which have to be paid back.  On and Off Campus jobs earn the student income while enrolled in school which may pay for all or part of your expenses. 

Military Aid either as in ROTC training [see  Army ROTC or 1-800-USA-ROTC],  aid to dependents of veterans [see  Veterans],  or while enrolled in military colleges of the U. S. Department of Defense [Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Air or Army National Guard, see - MyFuture]  will make you obligated to serve in the military for a few years after you complete your college.  

Scholarships, Grants, etc are awarded by Federal (U.S. Government and its Agencies), State, and Local Governments as well as Colleges, Foundations, Companies, and various non-profit Organizations.  Some of them require that you undertake a particular field of study (major), or be enrolled in a particular college.  Your school library, your local public library, your guidance counselor, and the colleges you are applying can help you with various sources for scholarships and grants.  See College Survey's Question #38. 

For Athletic Scholarships, contact your High School Coach and the Athletic Departments of the colleges you are applying.  See College Survey's Question #38(d),(e). 

Supplementing Scholarships & Grants:  If the money you receive in scholarships and grants is not sufficient to support your educational expenses, you can supplement it with loans, part time jobs, etc.  

On and Off campus jobs include working in a college laboratory, assisting professors, working in various departments including administration, housing/dormitories, cafeterias, athletic departmants.  Colleges may also arrange off-campus jobs at nearby companies, hospitals, and offices.  You can apply for these jobs once you get admission. 

Loans:  These have to be paid back.  The loans are given out by Federal and State governments and their Agencies.  There are student loans and parental (PLUS) loans.  For eligibility, see  Eligibility.   For PLUS (Parental) loans, parents are responsible for paying them back, the interest rates are usually higher, and in many cases they have to start paying them in installments soon after you get the loan.  See Plus Loans.  In the case of Student loans, students themselves are responsible, but have to be paid back ONLY after completion of your studies, and incur very low interest rates.  Student loans are awarded based on your financial need.  i.e., the income of your parents, can they afford to support your financial needs in college - pay for your tuition, room, and board.  Therefore, these applications will require your parents' financial statements and income tax returns, etc.  For more info see: SFA Info, and Funding Info,  or call Federal Student Aid Information Center 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). 

There are also campus-based federal education programs which are called work-study programs.  Some of these need not be paid back; see Campus Based Programs

Applying for Financial Aid:  Many colleges require that you complete the Department of Education's Financial Aid Application form called "FAFSA" along the individual college's own financial aid form.  Check with the colleges you are applying.See College Survey's Question #38(a),(b),(c).  You can complete your FAFSA Financial Aid Application FREE on the web at FAFSA Form.  You can download and keep copies, complete it on the web (keep copy) and submit it on the web itself.  

To find out where and how to obtain a particular college's financial aid application form, visit College Survey's Question #38(a) and (b).  The application must be neatly typed or hand printed.  For some colleges you can apply online at their Internet web site.  See College Survey's Question #38(c).  Using our search you can find Colleges which offer financial aid applications on the Internet and Colleges where completed applications can be filed on the Internet. see Search

Deadlines for applying for Scholarships and Financial Aid for each college is set by the particular college, and you can find them at - College Survey's Question #38(f).  You can find the deadlines for governmental loans at FAFSA Deadlines.  These are very important; you miss them and you will lose your opportunity.  For many colleges, the deadline for applying for financial aid & scholarships may be earlier than the deadline for regular admission applications.  see College Survey's Questions #38(f) and 44(b).

Application Fees:  For those who can't afford to pay the college application fees, colleges will waive the fees provided you submit the financial aid application form along with it and make a request to waive the fees.  To find out the College Application fees for a particular college, see College Survey's Question #45. 

PLEASE NOTE:  This information is presented here for student Applicants to avail themselves of this material when they are preparing to apply for freshmen admission to various colleges in the USA.  The information is displayed at this web site: BestSchoolsUSA.com accessible and FREE to any individual interested in applying to colleges in USA for said individual's personal use.  No other use - for commercial or any other purpose - is permitted without the express written consent of BestSchoolsUSA.com. 

We hope that these tips have helped you in obtaining financial aid to that college or university that you desire and we hope that BestSchoolsUSA.com has brought you one step closer to getting into that college or university of your choice.   GOOD LUCK!!!    

For comments, please contact us.

BestSchoolsUSA.com        February 11, 2000;             Revised April 2, 2001.    



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