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Financial Aid with Scholarshipsfrom: Maxx Family Life
If you're preparing to attend college you're probably wondering how you're going to come up with enough money to pay for it. Graduating high school students are more often finding they need to contribute in some manner to their college educations. Whether taking out a student loan, applying for scholarships or grants, or praying for a work study program to come along, there some things you should understand regarding financial aid at the college level.
First, financial aid can be tricky, and so it's a good idea to apply early and keep records of everything you send to the financial aid office. The information age has made things easier on one level and yet has eliminated the personal factor on other levels. If you have access or own a personal computer, you'll find the Internet is an excellent source for financial aid and scholarship information. Though the government provides a wide variety of financial aid resources, there are many opportunities for you to get an education that don't depend on government funding. Spend some time doing a bit of research and you'll find them.
An excellent place to start is your local community when it comes to financial opportunities for those preparing for college. Civic organizations and local businesses often give out scholarships to promising students. They usually have very specific requirement so make sure you meet the qualifications before applying rather than wasting your time and that of the scholarship committee by applying for scholarships for which you do not qualify.
Scholarships are preferable to student loans, of course, since they don't require repayment. This is important to understand when seeking financial aid for college. Loans can kill your income for the first several years after graduation. The fewer loans you can manage the better. They are, however, there for those who can't afford an education without them.
If you don't find the scholarships you were hoping to find at the local level, check with the county where you live, your state, and the school you plan to attend. There are excellent resources for each of these when it comes to financial aid. At the college you'll be attending consult your department head (for your chosen major) to see if there are any scholarships available.
You'll be surprised by how many scholarships you may qualify, apply for all those you meet the requirements. Competition for these scholarships is of course fierce, but you never know when your letter of application might spark the interest of one of the panel members or you could be the most impressive candidate.
When applying for scholarships, always read all the instructions carefully to make sure you have all the necessary documentation. Check and rechecked for accuracy and clarity. It takes time to make corrections and they can often be the difference in your being awarded a scholarship or having the honor going to someone else.
Scholarships are by far the way to go when applying for financial aid, but be careful you don't place all your eggs in one basket. Go for multiple scholarships, work-study programs, grants and, if necessary, loans to help you achieve your educational goals.
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