financial aid

Catholic Scholarships – For Students with Real Need of Money

There are hundreds of scholarships available these days and no matter what your requirements and other criteria are, you will find one easily. There is a list of catholic scholarships also available for catholic students. There are different types of amounts available for different types of students. (more…)

VA Scholarships

With tuition, fees, supplies and a social life, saving money in college is not easy. Fortunately, many financial aid opportunities are available to those willing to look for it. These scholarships also include those which are restricted to one state. Here are scholarships that are available to residents of Virginia.

Virginia Library Association Scholarships

The Virginia Library Association offers two scholarships worth $2,500 each to students pursuing a Masters degree in Library Science at ALA accredited schools. One of these scholarships, the Clara Stanley Scholarships, is offered by the VLA Paraprofessional Forum. The main criteria for these scholarships are: proof of commitment to a career in librarianship in Virginia; financial need; potential for excelling in the library profession; academic excellence; and Virginia Library Association membership.

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program

This VA scholarship is available to Virginia high school graduates who have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and enroll in Virginia public colleges and universities. The scholarship covers up to the cost of tuition, fees, and books. The scholarships are based on financial need and are determined by the institution that you plan to attend. The largest scholarships will go to the student who needs it the most. The scholarship can be renewed for up to four years of postsecondary education.

The Lee-Jackson Educational Foundation Scholarship

The Lee-Jackson scholarship is named after General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. The aim of this scholarship is to educate young people about the historical legacy of these two outstanding military figures who belong to Virginia.

There are three different scholarship amounts available to students. You can win a $10,000 scholarship (1 award), or a $2,000 scholarship (eight awards), or a $1,000 scholarship (eighteen awards). These scholarships are available to both Virginia high school juniors and seniors who submit outstanding essays on the career, character, or some other aspect of the life one of the two generals or both.

The College Scholarship Assistance Program

The College Scholarship Assistance Program (CSAP) was established in 1973 for assisting undergraduate students with extreme financial need in Virginia’s public and participating public universities and colleges. State appropriations are combined with the Federal Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) by The Commonwealth to fund CSAP.
Scholarships provide you financial assistance that you don’t have to return back. These are four VA scholarships that you can apply for. For more details of these programs, search for them online.

Scholarship Requirements

Scholarships can be a very good source of financial assistance to students. There is a great diversity of organizations which are willing to offer help to students either to meet their own ends, as a sign of showing their concern for various issues, or just out of charity and community service. It is expected then that the diversity of scholarship requirements would match the variety of the scholarship opportunities. It could indeed be a very good idea to have knowledge about the various scholarship requirements. Let us take a review of the various scholarship requirements that the students can hope to come across. This could act as a checklist for personal scrutiny.

  • The most common scholarship requirements include a ‘demonstration of proficiency’ to be eligible for the reward. This might include, a very good writing ability, a good talent in the various arts like drawing, painting, dance, etc., being erudite in your respective field of science or being good at sports. These requirements usually include those scholarships which allow more competent candidates to have a better chance of success.
  • The candidates are also required to fill out the FAFSA form, which makes them eligible for federal scholarships. The candidates should also in all instances, gather complete information about application deadlines, application procedures, special requirements and most importantly all the relevant scholarship opportunities. These points include the general requirements that the students should take care of.
  • Sometimes there are some very specific scholarship requirements. These include scholarships according to physical characteristics (left-handedness, disability, height, etc), sex, academic level (sophomore, junior, etc), career (military, journalism, medicine, firefighting, nursing, etc), nationality and immigrant status, etc.
  • Some scholarship may have changing requirements. You might be required to qualify for certain requirements at the time of application and then you might be required to fulfill further requirement later on. This generally applies to scholarships that are renewable.
  • There are generally three categories of financial aid available: scholarships, grants and loans. These might have slightly different requirements and implications. For instance, loans require you to return the money later on and the application procedure for the grants can be different form scholarships.
  • Some scholarships are for international students. These are generally very prestigious and have stringent requirements. An example is the Fulbright Scholarship.

This was a brief account of the various scholarship requirements that the students must be aware of. The prospective candidates are advised to always find out about the specific requirements of the scholarship opportunity they are interested in.

How to Find Grad School Scholarships

Grad school scholarships are in demand because the cost of education continues to increase. These days, anyone looking to enter grad school usually intends to apply for a few scholarships to pay the associated costs.

There are a few ways in which you can locate grad school scholarships.

Start from your educational institution. Ideally, you should go to your future school and get help from their financial aid office. The office will have resources, such as lists of scholarships and grants that you may be able to win.

You can also seek the help of your loved ones. There may be a friend of your father, or your own family member who may have heard of a scholarship, or may be a member of group that awards scholarships to students like you. Many people apply for scholarships, so you may also be able to find someone who has won a scholarship in the same field that you have chosen.

Another resource for finding grad school scholarships is the internet. There are scholarship databases that anyone can access. You can search by providing your subject details. These sites should be able to help you locate providers.

The government also helps students pay for school, especially if they are facing a financial crisis. You can find out if you qualify for federal government aid or not by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Scholarships are based on several different criteria. There are merit based scholarships that are awarded to students on the basis of academic, athletic, or artistic merit; scholarships that any student can apply for; ethnic minority scholarships; disability scholarships; military scholarships; single mom scholarships; height scholarships, last name scholarships, and many more.

An important thing regarding scholarships is to start searching for them early. You won’t want to feel the disappointment of finding a scholarship you can apply for after the application deadline has passed.

Another thing to remember is that if you get a student loan to fund your education, you will have to repay it after you finish or quit school, but if you get a scholarship or grant, you won’t have to pay back anything. With a scholarship you will have to maintain a certain level of performance, whereas with a grant you get the money, no strings attached.

Check with scholarship groups; they often have opportunities available. Professional associations in your field may also offer grad school scholarships.

Student Financial Aid-Comparing CSS and FAFSA

Every student that is applying for financial aid to get higher education in any field normally comes across two main source of financial aid the private and the federal aid. The federal financial aid is administered by FAFSA and most of the private aid available to students is administered through CSS college profile program. I will compare and explain both programs to help students understand the differences between the two.

The CSS College Profile

The College Board, a not for profit organization, is aimed at assisting students in entering college. It comprises of 5,400 colleges, universities and professional schools all over America.

The College Board administers the online CSS / Financial Aid PROFILE application. So far, 600 member schools of the College Board have also become members of this aid application program. The member institutes adopt the common criterion for student financial aid at different levels set out by the College Board. This application program makes the aid application process convenient because they can apply for almost all the non federal aid programs given out by colleges in one place; however individual colleges set their own deadlines and award dates for scholarships.

The CSS college profile use bases different from FAFSA to evaluate your need of financial aid, for example the FAFSSA does not consider the assets of your siblings to evaluate the money available to you. The CSS charges a fee of $25 for sending your students financial aid application to one school, additional $16 is charged for sending application to each additional school.

The FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is an application program run by the federal aid office of the U.S department of education. This online application provides the facility to students to apply at one place for several federal aid programs offered by the government, such as Pell grants, Stafford loans, PLUS loans, and work-study programs.

If a student is eligible for financial aid offered by these federal programs the aid is provided to the educational institution student is enrolled in. This aid normally covers considerable part of tuition and living costs. The need for student financial aid is determined by evaluating how much part of the cost can be contributed by the student’s family.

Most of accredited colleges and universities in The U.S have right to administer federal student aid. The application for federal financial aid can be made online on the website of FAFSA. There is no fee for the application.

How to Look for Grants and Scholarships

Searching for a scholarship program that you are eligible for is the first hurdle you will face while looking for grants and scholarships to fund your education. Most of the time and effort is spent on this step. There are thousands of private and federal aid programs available to students from different fields across America. These scholarships are based on varying criteria, such as academic excellence, sporting excellence, extracurricular activities etc.

Searching for a scholarship among these thousands of programs that you are eligible for might be very difficult if you do not have some basic knowledge about searching for a scholarship. I will teach you to search for scholarships in two different categories federal and non-federal aid.

Federal Aid

Searching for aid offered by the U.S government is easy as compared to non-federal aid. You can simply log on to the FAFSA website that is the website run by student aid office of the U.S department of education. The website provides complete information on all the aid programs offered by the government by different names, such as Pell grants, work-study program etc. You can evaluate your eligibility and make your application online for free.

Non-Federal Aid

You can primarily use two ways to search for non-federal grants and scholarships.

The College Board is an organization that offers an online application program that provides a platform to apply for financial aid provided by 600 member colleges and universities across America. All the colleges and universities in The College board panel have a common criterion for financial aid at different levels of education.

The application program is called CSS college profile program, the program has different criteria for eligibility than federal aid programs. The association charges a fee of $25 as the application fee for application in one college, additional $16 is charged for application to each additional college.

You can search for grants and scholarships offered by institutions that are not part of the College Board on scholarship search sites. There are over 50 of such scholarship search sites that provide you arranged information on all scholarship programs available in the U.S and abroad in different categories.

These scholarship search sites also provide you the facility to search for scholarships that you are eligible for by filling out a form. International students can use these sites to search for scholarships, as these sites provide information on all international scholarships available in the U.S and other developed countries of world.

How to Get a Full Scholarship

How to Get a Full Scholarship

How to Get a Full Scholarship

Nowadays, a lot of people have the short term goal of attending college, but a lot of people don’t know where to get the money to pay for the institution of their choice. Student loans are one way of funding studies at the higher level, but they require you to not only pay the money back but also give an interest on it. Scholarships are a better option as no paybacks are associated with them, and things get even better if you get a full scholarship.

Getting a full scholarship is not any easy task though. However, contrary to what a lot of people think about these awards, you don’t necessarily have to be a straight A student to get this scholarship. Majority, if not all, colleges give more weight age to advanced classes in comparison to general education and elective classes.

Some students think that will be able to get a full ride scholarship to the school they are interested in by getting straight A’s in the low level courses, when in reality, a student who obtains B’s in advanced courses is in a better position to enter college and receive a full scholarship.

Standardized test scores are also an important factor in determining the applicants who will get the money. This enables the college scholarship awarding authorities to put all of the students on a level playing field in terms of their education, as all classes and teachers are not the same—what may be taught well in a school district in Arizona may never be given importance by a teacher in Maine, and vice-versa.

This is due to the process that the scholarship awarding authorities go through when determining winners. They want to make sure that when they provide money for a student’s education, it won’t be wasted because the student was not prepared for college or is not interested in attending classes. They want to give a full ride to the student who will work hard and get good grades so that the financial aid they provide is not wasted on a struggling or failing candidate. A full ride scholarship is often a sign of great trust, and the college admissions staff is interested in giving the money to applicants who truly deserve it.

A full scholarship can help you with you college expenses, so it’s an option you can consider while arranging the money required for your college education.

Financial Aid—What You Should Know

Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to people in need of financial help and is provided to pay for the college education dues. It is made available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, part-time employment, etc. The amount of money awarded depends on a number of things including the degree of financial need, available funds, academic results, type of student, etc.

Your first stop is to know about FAFSA which is the free application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is filed in January 1st to March 10th of each year either electronically or by post. Four to six weeks after your application (two to four weeks for electronic application), you will receive the SAR which is the student aid report. The SAR will detail all the information that you submitted in the FAFSA form and will describe your EFC which is the estimated family contribution, the amount of money that your family is expected to pay for your education. The funds which will be released to you as financial aid will be equal to the college tuition fee minus the EFC.

Also check whether you are required to fill out a College Scholarship Services profile (CSS) which details further financial information about your family and are required by some colleges.

You must also be aware of the types of financial aids available and your options. The common options are grants, student loans and college scholarships. Grants and student college scholarships are free money since it is not required to be returned. Grants are predominantly based on financial need while college scholarships are usually based on academic merit and are also called MERIT AID. Student loans are money loaned from an institution or the government and must be returned. You must also be aware that for many of the financial aid opportunities you are required to fill out the FAFSA but there are some opportunities like the private scholarships where you are not required to fill out any such form.

You can check with the various sources to find out the different sources of grants, loans and scholarships. You can also apply for all these types of financial aid together. You should apply for financial aid each year, even if you did not qualify for it the previous year. Circumstances change and you might qualify for a scholarship the next year.

You must also know that eligibility criteria for financial aid are various and you must apply for it regardless of your financial condition.