Finding a way to pay for college is a major concern for those looking to begin a first career, or transition into a more pleasing one. Increasing fees and tuition have many college seekers stressed at the the thought of financing a college education. Fortunately, there are ways to counter the cost of higher level education.
Start your search for college grants early. Realize that competition for college grants is extremely high. Procrastinating could cause you to miss out on awards that you could have gotten. The optimal time to start searching and applying for grants is 12 months prior to the start of your semester. Grants have strict application deadlines that must be followed in order to be considered eligible.
Visit your school's financial aid office for assistance in locating college grants. If you're still in high school, take a trip to the guidance office to ask for help in finding college grants. The guidance counselor can give a realistic portrait of the grant application process and recommend grants you may qualify to receive. Contact the financial aid office of your intended college to get help if you've already finished high school.
Submit a FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid) by the June 30 deadline to be considered for federal aid. Gather your tax information and complete the form online to be considered for aid. Your financial need will be assessed and reported to your intended college. This process must be completed each school year to ensure the correct amount of financial need is determined.
Research available federal and state college grants. Read the requirements to determine your eligibility to receive each award. Grant requirements could be based on many factors including financial need, academic achievement, and ethnicity. Even having a disability can qualify you to receive a college grant. Apply well before the stated deadlines to ensure your grant application will be valid. Use the Grants website to search for and read grant eligibility criteria. Make a list of the grants you may qualify to receive and visit the corresponding websites for more specific information. Consider choosing a major early since some grants are based on the field of study you select.
Explore college grants offered by private companies and individuals. Use sites such as the Foundation Center to locate grants that you may just qualify to receive. Make sure your application is free from errors and completed to the best of your abilities. College grants offered from private companies often require extensive essay sections. Brush up on your writing skills to make your application stand out from the crowd. Your parents may be a valuable asset in your college grant search. Ask your parents to check if their employer provides college grants for their dependents. Some well known grant providers include Coca-Cola and the United Negro College Fund.