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Finding Aid for College

March 05, 2010 By: Category: Aid for College

More than ever a college education is a necessary component for a successful career. College is expensive and many deserving young people and their families find the rising cost of tuition an overwhelming prospect. Even when considering “affordable” colleges many families experience sacrifice and hardship. Yet the cost of not attending college will often result in even greater financial hardships for those who make that choice.


Options for Aid for College
One of the best things you can do to diminish the financial burden of a college education is to research available assistance. There are several avenues for finding aid for college. Assistance can make the difference in where you go, what you pursue, and obviously how much college will impact your finances now and after graduation. Consider these options:

Government Aid: The government can help you with loans, federal financial aid, and state financial aid. There are also special grants, scholarships, and programs offered through the government. You may be surprised at the wide range of assistance the government offers. Some aid for college is specific to the career path you plan to take (such as health, education, scientific, or environmental professions). Some financial assistance will require you work in public service or government jobs after graduation (remember, the government employs people from nearly every career sector, so this may be a way to start your career and have your education paid for too). Other aid and scholarship programs are offered for children of military personnel, those who are disadvantaged, Native Americans and other minority groups, etc. Check out this page for a host of government offerings.

Scholarships: Aside from aid for college through government channels, there are also several types of scholarships to be had through colleges, national organizations, and contests. If you have positioned yourself well during high school you may be able to take advantage of merit-based (academic, community, leadership) or athletic scholarships.

Other Options: If you are not eligible for the options listed above, other ways to afford college are through private bank loans (though these do carry high interest rates). Another way to pay for college is by working. A job through college can ease your financial burden and provide a head start in the career world, especially if you find employment (no matter how menial) within your intended industry. This will also provide you with a competitive edge over your peers at graduation and may even earn you a higher starting salary than you would have had otherwise.

It Pays to do the Research
Finding aid for college will take a serious commitment to research on your part. The more committed you are to seeking out your options, the better results you will achieve. Don’t stop until your research is done, and don’t settle for less than you can obtain. For example, if you’re offered financial aid from a school you’d like to attend, you can explain that you may not be able to attend without receiving more aid. If you can explain your preference to go to the school and show how you are worthy of more aid, you may just get what you ask for. A college education is a lot like taking a trip on a commercial airline. It’s the best direct option for getting to your destination. You, along with the other passengers are on the same plane, in identical seats, and in the hands of the same pilot. Yet, some passengers pay hundreds of dollars more for the very same ride. Which passenger do you want to be?