Free Money for College

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What financial aid for college is available?

Is there such a thing as free money for college? Surely everything has a price tag? Not true! Over 38 % of financial aid granted to students is in the form of grants that do not have to be repaid ! Also, there are scholarships available which do not have to be repaid and are, in essence, free money for college.

Where can you obtain grants and scholarships from?

Grants can be obtained from one of three sources:
  1. Federal grants, which are directly granted by the government.
  2. State grants, simply offered by the state you live in.
  3. The institution where you want to study may also provide you with a grant.

When you apply for a place at your chosen university, your application will be assessed to determine if you have financial difficulties. This will either be carried out by the federal government or your chosen university or college. They will determine if your family can afford the costs of your course outright, or they will need some form of financial aid to help them. They will use formulas to determine your families Expected Financial Contribution and the rest of your award will be made up of grants and loans. Loans have to be repaid, but grants are a form of free money for college.

Scholarships are another form of free money for college and can be obtained from:
  1. The university or college you are applying to.
  2. Corporate businesses

You will find that many scholarships have strict applicant criteria's and you may even have to submit essays, have interviews or even competitions with other candidates. They will be granted based on your merits and are often a far harder form of free money for college to obtain than grants.

You also need to keep a watchful eye for hoax scholarships schemes that promise you the world and deliver you nothing. All they do is bleed your parent's bank account dry and never give you any free money for college whatsoever! According to the Federal Trade Commission, over 175,000 victims lost a total of £22 million to such scams in 2003.

Free money for college is excellent and grants provide you with just that. Scholarships are also a very good source of free money for college but you should research the institution thoroughly before applying or giving them any bank account details. Free money for college sounds all too tempting, but you need to remain cautious. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!