Money for College

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The low-down on scholarship money for college

It's entirely confusing when it comes to figuring out where to get money for college from. There are so many different types of grants, student loans and work-study programs available that often the mountain of financial aid opportunities seems insurmountable. Let's take a second to focus on another form of money for college available, otherwise known as a scholarship.

A scholarship, like a federal grant, can be called free money for college as they do not have to be repaid. These are awarded to students either by the college or university they are attending, or privately via companies or institutions. Scholarships are mainly awarded to help with tuition costs, fees and much needed resources such as books and study materials. There are three main types of scholarship available to provide you with money for college. These are outlined below.

Need Based scholarships

These provide students who could not necessarily afford to attend further education the opportunity! Such scholarships provide students who have families with low incomes much needed money for college. They are granted by the college or university that you apply to and are awarded on a needs basis. In other words if you have a low family income your child is far more likely to qualify for this scholarship.

It's useful to point out that you shouldn't restrict your child to state education just because you think you wouldn't be able to afford a private college. You may find that private institutions are far more cash rich and can actually afford to give your child a far larger scholarship than elsewhere.

Merit based scholarships

These are awarded to superb academic performers and this money for college is usually distributed to the successful student who competed for the scholarship. The competition is usually fierce and if you decide to take this route, you should prepare your child for disappointment, as quite often the best candidate doesn't always win.

Specialist scholarships

These are a less well known form of scholarship that not all colleges and universities will offer. These are awarded for unique reasons that are unique to each educational institution. For example you may be awarded this money for college because of the state you live in, or because the college is church affiliated and you are from that religious denomination. These are much less publicized than need or merit based scholarships but it is worthwhile investigating if such forms of money for college are available.

It does take time to apply for a scholarship for much needed money for college and you will probably have to fill out an additional form other than the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to search through all the different colleges and universities to find out what types of scholarships are available to give your child money for college. Also use your local library and the internet as a resource. Newspapers often provide listings of scholarships available in your state.