College Financial Aid & Scholarships

The cost of higher education at both public and private institutions continues to escalate. Many of the more expensive schools can become affordable if there is sufficient financial need-based assistance available.

Regarding cost, a college education should be viewed as a major life-time investment; one that will appreciate over time and add to a higher quality of life.

Financial need is determined by subtracting what the parent and student can afford, EFC (Expected Family Contribution), from the total cost of attendance.

Financial assistance can include loans, grants, scholarships, and work opportunities. There are three basic financial aid application forms to be aware of: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is used by all colleges; the College Scholarship Service PROFILE which is used primarily by private institutions, and an institutional form that an individual college may have created itself. Be prepared to complete any combination of these forms if you are applying for need-based financial aid. You are required to complete these forms online.

Financial Aid Websites
  • http://www.fafsa.ed.gov – Almost every college will require the submission of this free form to consider you for financial aid. You are encouraged to complete and submit this online.
  • https://cssprofile.collegeboard.org/ – Some colleges will require the Profile in addition to the FAFSA. There is a fee to complete this form, and it is used to gather more detailed information about your finances.
  • http://collegeboard.org – This is a very comprehensive site with lots of answers to your questions. It contains several financial aid calculators, loan information, and much, much, more.
  • http://www.finaid.org – This site provides good general information on financial aid. It has a financial need estimator which will predict your estimated family contribution based on the information you provide. There is also an “Ask the Expert” section where you can send questions online and get a response.
  • http://www.salliemae.com – This site lists both private and public educational loans and has a tutorial on Financial Aid 101 which includes eligibility, the application process, and how to go about securing a loan. It also has calculators to compare different loan products.
  • http://studentaid.ed.gov – This is the financial aid site for the US Department of Education. The Student Financial Assistance Programs are the largest source of student aid in America. This site has a great deal of information including tax cuts for education and how to find out about direct loans from schools. 

Scholarship Information

Regardless of your financial situation, there may be one or more scholarships available to you. Scholarships are given by individual colleges, organizations, companies, and community groups, and they have many different criteria, ranging from an outstanding academic record, to demonstrating a special talent (art, music, athletics, etc.), to an unusual degree of community involvement. You may be eligible because you have a parent working for a specific company or the award may be for ethnic background or religious belief. If you are serious about finding monies for college, you should be willing to spend some time on your search.

Here are some resources to help you along the way:

  • View the Scholarship Link in Naviance
  • http://www.collegeboard.org – This site includes a scholarship search database known as the Fund Finder from 3,300 national, state, public, and private sources. How to spot a scam is also mentioned.
  • http://www.fastweb.com – With this database, the student registers and is assigned a mail box on the site where information on new scholarship opportunities is posted. The database contains over 500,000 private sector scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans. Probably one of the best search sites available.
  • http://www.fastaid.com – The world’s largest and oldest private sector scholarship database. You will find scholarships here that you won’t find anyplace else.
  • http://www.collegeanswer.com/index.jsp – The most comprehensive “Going-to-College” resource on the Internet. Use it for all of your planning and paying for college needs.
  • http://www.finaid.org – This site will run a scholarship search for the specific interests of art, biology, computer science, engineering, journalism, and nursing.
  • http://www.scholarships.com – This site offers a database of 3,000 sources and detailed search results.

New Scholarships

FOR CLASS OF 2020

ROTC Scholarship Information