Paying for college can be a difficult experience, but by knowing how to find scholarships and other forms of financial aid, the process can become a bit more manageable. Students should begin to look for various opportunities before they graduate high school, whether it is applying to merit-based academic scholarships, private education loans, art scholarships, or public grants.
Information is available everywhere, from high school counselors to college admissions offices. Some high schools even offer classes that devote time to teaching graduating seniors how to find the best financial aid opportunities. It is possible to receive a full-ride scholarship, which means everything including course fees, campus expenses, and text books, are paid for. However, the majority of students will need to look for a mix of scholarships and loans.
The first step to take is to fill out a federal form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which will automatically determine how much in grants and loans can be awarded. This is calculated on a need based formula that factors in how much income the student's family has. Beyond that, private scholarships are available all over the country, some of which require students to complete special projects, essays, or applications. To receive more information, students can visit the official FAFSA website, contact financial institutions, or even ask local teachers/professors for help. Anyone who is motivated enough should have the opportunity to go to college, and all it takes is finding the right university and the right sources of financial aid.