Scholarships are awarded in various forms; as award, student loan and scholarships grants. You might be thinking how loan can be scholarship, but I am referring as way of paying for college. If you are thinking to attend college you must consider any of them to pay for college. Only if you don’t have sufficient funds to pay for college. They might not come as your first priority if you are well off.
Though I have used scholarship as people normally use, terminology matters when you are applying for financial aid to pay for college. Scholarships are cash reward or fee waiver, and they are mainly merit based. They are awarded to specific groups of students who are good at studies or sport scholarships for people at sports and list goes on. Though scholarships can also be need based, but that’s not their nature generally. Most scholarships also have rules, i.e. you need to maintain track of certain GPA if you want to keep receiving aid.
Loan or student loan is loan which needs to be repaid. You can get student loans from government, who do you think is going to provide loan 18 year old teenager who is just going to college. Loans have low interests but you need to pay back. Student loans are good idea to pay for college, rather than putting it on your credit card.
And finally, college grants are cash awards which are like scholarship and loan. But you don’t need to pay back. Cool! Wait, you need to qualify for grant first to get it and also maintain the criteria to get it renewed every year. And such criteria are mostly academic. Grants are generally need based, so you can still get grant to pay for college even if you suck at studies. Means chances of you getting grants depends upon the financial circumstances of your family.
Where do you get grant?
Government is the main source of grants. Both federal and state governments facilitate grants on different topics. You need to submit FAFSA to get federal grants. Federal government facilitates larger value of grants than state government including Pell grant, need based gift-aid.State grants cover the cost of college for attending college in their state.Applying for government aids is very easy. If you have submitted FAFSA application you will be automatically considered for both state and federal grants.
College also offers grants to its students. Those grants can either be merit based or need based. Also, some grants are combination of both two. Unlike federal grants there are rules for you to maintain your grants, you need to maintain your GPA to the rule set by grants.
You don’t need to apply for college grants, if your college thinks you deserve grant you will be automatically considered for grant. Make sure your bio shows that you deserve grant.
- Private organization
Many private organization also sponsor students to go to college. Non-profit organizations like USAID are largely focused on providing help to students who need financial help.So, you can get scholarship grant from any organization focused on education that is in your area.You can consult about scholarship by visiting there. If you find the one suitable for you, you can apply for grant from private organizations.
- Other sources of grants
Beside scholarships and other help from college. You can get grants from other potential sources too. Some potential sources of grants are,
- Company in which your parents work
- A private sponsor
- Scouts of America
- Red cross