Looking for additional help in paying for your college expenses such as tuition and books? Are you looking for free money such as grants and scholarships?
There is free money to be found, but you must look for it and then apply. A great start would be to first apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. After the application has been processed, you may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and/or Federal Student Loans. A Pell Grant is based on annual household income, and student loans are based on need and are available for anyone who qualifies. However, if you don’t need either one after you’ve been notified of your award, you can always decline all or part of it. Student loans are designed to be paid back with interests after the student has stopped attending school, but the Pell Grant is money that does not have to be repaid. FAFSA is a free application, and I would not encourage anyone to pay someone else to complete the application for them, nor would I ever encourage anyone to pay to have the application completed online because it is a scam. Should you have questions regarding the application or its process, you can contact FAFSA or the Financial Aid Office at the college of your choice for further assistance.
If you are currently in high school, I encourage you to contact your high school’s Guidance Office for additional information on grants and scholarships. In doing so, I would also encourage you to apply for everything that is available to you.
Searching online for grants and scholarships within your own state is also another option. For example, the state of Virginia has the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG). This grant is free tuition assistance for full-time undergraduate Virginia residents attending a Virginia participating college or university, and it’s not based on financial need or household income.
Looking on college financial aid websites is another great option to explore for additional grants and scholarships. There are also many individual and corporate foundations that offer educational grants and scholarships too. Some employers also offer educational benefits for their employees, and many churches, school districts, and businesses offer scholarships and educational assistance to those who qualify.
Googling is another great way to find scholarships; if you do, I encourage you to be as silly and as serious as you can be in your search. I also encourage you to be very creative and to keep your searches fun and interesting. There are many scholarships for teachers, veterans and their families, nurses, emergency medical technicians, redheaded people, left-handed people, people of specific ethnicities and nationalities, people who wear glasses, people who garden, people with specific hobby, career, and sports interests, as well as many more.
Some popular online scholarship searches include the following links, but are not limited to just these sites. It does take time to search for grants and scholarships; however, it could be worth it in the end -- so don’t give up. Happy searching and blessings to you all!
Grants & Scholarships
Dawn M. Geiger