Applications are in, acceptances are starting to arrive. Now, the question becomes how to pay for it all: books, room & board, food, and tuition plus all the extras. It can feel overwhelming.
It’s not a secret that a college education is costly. The conversation regarding student debt is one that is constantly in the news, and while a degree is going to be important for almost every career path, there is no reason to take on more debt than you actually need to.
Here are a few of our favorite tips:
Get that FAFSA done. It’s frustrating because it’s really only one view of your family’s finances, but it is absolutely necessary to qualify for aid.
Don’t be afraid to make a phone call. Colleges give you financial aid packages based on the information in front of them. If your situation is a little different, or if there’s something that the FAFSA isn’t presenting well, don’t be afraid to call your top school’s financial aid office and ask to discuss things further. Find out if work-study is an option, or if there’s an in-school scholarship that you weren’t aware of.
Google it. Merit based scholarships are out there for almost EVERY possibility. Are you super into fly fishing or showing American Quarter Horses? Speak Klingon? Really involved in your vegetarian lifestyle? There’s a scholarship for you!
Talk to your parents and grandparents. Their workplaces, organizations they belong to, or even your ancestry could make you eligible for a scholarship.
Be sure that the scholarship amount is going to be worth the time that it’ll take to put the application together, especially if there’s an essay that needs to be written.
As always, Fairchild is here if you need help with the FAFSA, questions for the financial aid offices, or advice on how to find outside scholarships. If you’ve chosen the College Guidance Package, financial aid advice is included and we can help with scholarship essays as well.