Free money funding options for college are the best funding options, because it is money for college that will not have to be repaid, unlike student loans. Free money funding options for college are most commonly found through scholarships, grants, and/or work-study programs. When planning out your financial aid for college, applying for scholarships, grants, and other free money for college opportunities should never be overlooked. Here are 5 Free Money For College tips to get you started:
1. There is a scholarship for you. A common misconception is that scholarships are only academically based, they are not. Most college scholarships are awarded based on a combination of factors such as academic achievements, talents, race, gender, and/or career selection/degree major. Start by making a list of the attributes above; in order to help easily identify scholarships you may qualify for.
2. Start locally with your scholarship search. When searching for college scholarships, try starting locally and then branch out to nationally awarded scholarships. You may have a better chance at receiving scholarships at a local level since there is less competition.
3. Do not apply to scholarships that only award large amounts. Scholarships that have lager awards are often heavily saturated with applicants, making the chances of obtaining those particular scholarships more difficult. Applying for college scholarships that offer smaller awards are typically less competitive, and winning 2 or 3 smaller scholarships can really add up.
4. Apply for grants. Grants are similar to scholarships, in that they will not have to be repaid. Grants can be federal, state or privately funded. In order to maximize the chances at receiving grants for college, apply for grants in all 3 sectors.
5. File a FAFSA. If you file a FAFSA, you will automatically be considered for federally funded grants.