Scholarships and grants are definitely worth researching when considering the cost of college. The reason most people give up investigating this "free" money opportunity is because of how difficult it is to find the information. In some cases, the criteria to qualify for particular scholarships can sometimes be a bit unusual.
The first source you should consult is your public library for current books on the topic. If you have access to the Internet, some helpful website resources for researching college scholarships, grants, loans, and other types of education funding include:
-- Sallie Mae, www.salliemae.com
-- College Board Online, www.collegeboard.com
-- Go College, www.gocollege.com
-- U.S. Department of Education, www.ed.gov/finaid.html
-- FinAid, www.finaid.org
-- Fast Web, www.fastweb.com
-- Peterson's College Quest, www.petersons.com
After filling out the personal profiles on each site, the search engines will match your profile to current scholarship programs in their database. This service is FREE! (Be leery when an organization or scholarship agent asks for a finder's fee.)
Once there is a match, you will be notified by email. It is your responsibility to follow-up with the information you are given. It is a lot of work, but you should consider it a part-time money making opportunity.
For example, if you earn $10 net per hour at your job, it would take 100 hours before you earn $1,000 to put toward college tuition. Whereas, if you get a $1,000 scholarship for conducting 20 hours of research and devoting $200 for application fees, your time was worth $40 per hour! Consider the value or your time during this process.
Ask your bank or local state government agency about college saving plans for college. If all else fails, consider a government student loan. The school you plan to attend can provide you with the necessary paperwork. Investigate other options with the school's financial aid office.
It's never too early to start researching scholarships and grants. One to two years is the typical lifecycle requirement to ensure the money will be available.
One Paycheck at a Time Inc. is the leading source for sensible debt reduction solutions. Its products include the One Paycheck at a Time paperback (ISBN: 1591133327), as well as an ebook format, and the eTools program. The author of the book and president of the company, Kimberly A. Griffiths, has been through the vicious cycle of debt herself and has made it her personal goal to share her experience to help others. More information can be found about the company and its products at www.1PaycheckataTime.com.© 2006 Kimberly A. Griffiths
The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.