Archive for the ‘Scholarships and Financial Aid’ Category
If you finish your first year of college and begin to stress about how you’re going to pay for the rest of your education, don’t fret— numerous scholarships are available for students who are already enrolled in college. With the rising costs of tuition, there are many resources you can take advantage of to keep down your student loans and add merit to your resume. You can find scholarships by visiting your school’s financial aid office and making a free student profile on Cappex!
Study Abroad Scholarships
Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity for college students, usually taken during junior year. As a sophomore, if you want to study abroad but don’t know if you can afford it, the option may still be available to you. There are various study abroad agencies in America that offer scholarships to help students study overseas, like the IES Abroad or AIFS Study Abroad programs. When looking for a study abroad scholarship, the best way to ensure you get the money you need is to plan early and begin looking a year ahead of time.
Large companies and corporations often sponsor scholarships that are available to all enrolled students with no restrictive eligibility criteria. Though there is more competition for corporate scholarships, they are great to apply for because of their straightforward requirements and easy application process. Corporate scholarships can range from a few hundred dollars to a full tuition, and many are given on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Private scholarships are more commonly found through your university, are sponsored by benefactors, and often boast the name of whomever the scholarship is commemorating. Unlike corporate scholarships, private scholarships are likely to have specific target candidates related to characteristics of the benefactor, ranging from students who study a certain major to students who have overcome certain obstacles in the past. Though this information is often available online, meeting with your academic advisor to discuss university scholarships will ensure that you know you qualify before you begin the potentially complex application process.
Finding a paid internship with a company in your career field can also be a productive way to find scholarships. If they see potential in you and want you to continue working for them in the future, some companies will have aid programs where they either pay your tuition while you’re employed or work out an arrangement to help you in the future.
Learn about more ways to find scholarships for college on Cappex!
If you plan on filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you may be interested in a more active means of earning money towards your education. The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) may be the right move for you!
Who: The Federal Work Study Program is available to undergraduate and graduate students who qualify for financial aid. International or foreign students usually do not qualify for this program.
What: Students work part-time to help pay for their education. The money the student makes working is applied to the cost of classes, room and board, and supplies. At the very least, students earn federal minimum wage hourly. Often schools take into consideration the student’s area of study when accepting them for FWS and assigning a job.
Where: About 3,400 colleges and universities in the United States participate in the Federal Work Study Program.
How: Each participating college or university is given funding to supply to students in the FWS Program. The jobs available for students will vary depending on the institution. Many jobs are directly associated with the college or university, but there is a requirement that jobs through private employers in the local community be made available as well. In fact, 7% of the jobs available to students must be community service positions. Common jobs include administrative work in campus offices or tutoring children at neighboring schools.
Each school does have different restrictions on how it gives its students their earned funds. Additionally, some schools have a specific number of hours the FWS Program students must work. It is possible that if you are participating in the FWS Program and your grade point average falls below a certain number you will no longer be eligible for funding. If you receive financial aid from another source, that may change how much FWS aid you can get. Check with your school to find out exactly what restrictions it has on FWS students.
If you are interested in joining the FWS Program, be sure to indicate this on your FAFSA form! But keep in mind that sometimes the deadline for requesting to be part of FWS comes before the FAFSA deadline. Apply as early as possible to increase your chances of being accepted to this program and guarantee funding for your education. The colleges and universities involved have a limited amount of funding to use for students in the FWS Program.
By filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), prospective and current students can deduce their eligibility to receive help from the government to pay for their higher education. There are several different grants, loans, and programs that can be awarded to help students pay for their higher education. If you are a student who requires financial aid, you might receive a Pell Grant. What exactly is a Pell Grant? Let’s break it down.
Who: Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students who have not yet earned their Bachelor’s degree and do not currently owe money towards any other student loans.
What: These grants do not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are often used as the foundation to a student’s financial aid; additional forms of aid can be applied along with Pell Grants. As of July 1, 2012 the maximum amount a student can receive for one award year is $5,500; students can continue to receive aid up to 12 semesters. The amount awarded per year varies depending on the EFC (Expected Family Contribution as calculated by the FAFSA), the cost of the institution, and whether or not the recipient plans to attend full-time or part-time.
The scheduled award is the max amount of money a student receives in one award year (July 1st – June 30th). You may not use 100% of this scheduled award amount each year if you are a part-time student. If this is the case, it’s possible that the leftover percentage can be applied to subsequent semesters until you reach the full 600% you’ve been given. The 600% comes from the 12 semester maximum; each semester accounts for 50% of your scheduled award.
Where: There are roughly 5,400 colleges and universities where you can use a Pell Grant.
How: Schools can either apply the funds directly to the student’s costs or pay the student by check. Sometimes, colleges and universities will utilize a combination of these two methods. Either way, the school must outline in writing how they plan on paying the student, the amount the student will receive with each payment, and when the payments will be made. Schools must pay the student once per term. Basically, if your school is on a semester schedule, each semester you should receive a Pell Grant payment. If for some reason your school does not have a semester, trimester or quarter system, you will receive payments twice per year.
When: Applications begin rolling in on January 1st for that year’s academic school year. So, if you need financial aid beginning in September of 2013, you can send in your FAFSA on or after January 1, 2013. Remember that the funds are limited and given out on a first come, first serve basis. Deadlines for FAFSA submissions vary by state. Double check with your academic adviser to find out your state’s FAFSA deadline. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to two months for your application to be processed!
Learn about more ways to find money for college at Cappex.
In your collegiate quest for financial aid, you will find that there are several different loans and grants you can receive after filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If you are in dire financial need, you may be eligible for a Perkins Loan. How is this particular loan different from other student loans? Let’s break it down.
Who: Perkins Loans are available to full-time and part-time graduate and undergraduate students. Usually recipients of Perkins Loans have a greater need for financial assistance than recipients of Stafford Loans.
What: Perkins Loans are fixed rate loans based on student need. The fixed interest rate on these loans is 5%. Perkins Loans are subsidized loans, which means the student does not pay interest while enrolled in school.
Unlike Stafford Loans, students have a grace period of 9 months after graduation or withdrawal to begin repayment. After repayment begins, the student has 10 years to pay back the entire loan to their college or university. Note: Perkins Loan recipients repay their loan directly to their school.
Where: There are about 1,700 schools that have access to Perkins funds. Some colleges and universities can offer more aid to students than others, so check with each institution to see what their limits may be. (Keep in mind that if you transfer to another school, your funding may change.)
How: To receive a Perkins Loan, students must fill out the FAFSA.
With Perkins Loans, the student’s school combines federal funding with its own funds to pay the student directly – either in the form of a check or by depositing money into a student account – twice per academic year. The school must notify the student in writing when this deposit occurs.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you qualify for a Perkins Loan, fill out the FAFSA and an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be calculated for you. This measures the amount you and/or your family will be able to provide towards your secondary education. Depending on this number, federal aid will be awarded to you. When in doubt, discuss your options with your academic adviser and check Cappex for more information on scholarships and financial aid packages!
After you submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you may become eligible for one of several financial aid options. The Stafford Loan is the most common type of government aid for students. So, what is it and how does it work? Let’s break it down:
Who: Stafford Loans are available to undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled in school at least part-time. While it doesn’t matter if your credit is good or bad, you just can’t be in default on a previous loan.
What: A Stafford Loan is a fixed rate federal loan. Fixed rate means that the interest rate on your loan does not change. These are the most common student loans and some of the least expensive ways to pay for school. Based on your need as calculated by the FAFSA, you will be awarded either a subsidized or an unsubsidized loan.
- Subsidized = the government pays your loan interest when you are enrolled in school. As of July 1, 2012, subsidized Stafford Loans have a low fixed interest rate of 3.4% and are not available for graduate students.
- Unsubsidized = you pay your loan interest. Interest starts building up at a fixed 6.8% as soon as your school receives funds. Even though you don’t have to pay the interest while you are in school, it will grow and then be added to the total loan amount when you are done with school. Then you’ll start paying interest on that interest. So, its in your best interest to pay as you go!
Where: Most colleges and universities accept Stafford Loans. Check with your academic adviser if you are uncertain.
When: Each college and university has a different deadline for financial aid submissions or notifications. Check with yours to make sure you don’t miss it.
How: To be approved for federal financial aid, you must fill out the FAFSA. The amount of money you are allowed to borrow each year is limited and may change; you need to renew your FAFSA every year and re-apply for a Stafford Loan. Funds are deposited directly into your student account twice per year, usually in the fall and winter semesters.
After you graduate – or are no longer a part-time or full-time student – you have a 6 month span of time called a grace period. During this time you do not need to make any payments on your loan, but you have the option to do so. After that grace period, you’ll need to start your monthly payments. You have 10 years to pay back your loans and any interest accumulated.
Finally, you will have to participate in a Stafford Loan Exit Counseling Session. Basically, you’ll need to prove that you have either completed school or are no longer in school. You’ll receive information on how to pay back your loans at this session.
August is approaching and summer will soon be winding down, so as you keep up with your college search, don’t miss out on these scholarships that can help you pay for school. So, take a small break from your summer fun and start applying for these scholarships today before they expire in August!
SHUT UP & SWEAT Athletic Gear Student Athlete Annual Scholarship
Deadline: August 1
Star athletes who graduated high school in June 2012 are eligible to be nominated for this scholarship. You must have a 3.0 GPA to be eligible. The person that nominates you is required to submit a 1- to 2-page letter explaining why you are an excellent candidate for this scholarship. Three students each will win a $2,000 scholarship.
Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
Deadline: August 1
Sign up with MyFamilyTravels.com and submit your travel story. Have a good vacation story? Now is the time to share it and potentially win a scholarship for it. Along with your written story, you must submit one photo, digital artwork, or video. This scholarship is open to students ages 13-18. Scholarships range from $200 to $1,000.
Americas Next Top Namer Scholarship
Deadline: August 15
Undergraduate students majoring in communications, English, linguistics, or marketing can apply for this scholarship. This scholarship offers you the chance to give names to a product. Like the iPhone’s Suri, you will be asked to develop and submit an essay about five brand name candidates for a intelligent personal digital assistant and academic navigator that works on your tablet, smartphone, or computer. The winner gets a $2,000 scholarship.
AFSA Second Chance Scholarship Contest
Deadline: August 22
Presented by the American Sprinkler Association, this scholarship is for undergraduate students attending a college/university or certified trade school in the United States. You must enroll or already be enrolled for the spring 2013 session. In order to enter this contest, you must take a ten-question, multiple-choice, open-book test about automatic fire sprinklers; for each question answered correctly, you receive one entry into the scholarship drawing. The award is $1,000.
JustJobs Scholarship Program
Deadline: August 31
This scholarship is for currently enrolled, full-time college undergraduate and graduate students. You must be from a school that is registered with the scholarship program. To apply, you must submit a short essay of 300-500 words responding to the following question: “How did you choose your major? What obstacles have you had to overcome and what will it mean to you to graduate with this degree?” Winners will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship.
Laws of Life Contest
Deadline: August 31
This contest is for recent high school grads enrolled in an accredited college or university for Fall 2012. To apply, you must create a written or video response to the following prompt: “How might you fulfill your purpose in the next five years? What guiding principles and goals will help you live according to your purpose in the next five years and beyond? If you keep your purpose in mind, where do you think you will find yourself in five years?” First place wins a $5,000 scholarship and a session with a professional purpose coach. Second place wins a $3,000 scholarship, and third place wins a $1,000 scholarship.
What is FAFSA?
FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is a form that you can submit each year to assess your eligibility for financial aid. When you fill out a FAFSA, you are basically submitting yourself for consideration to receive Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, or a Federal Work-Study Program.
FAFSA evaluates your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) using a series of about 130 questions. The questions pertain to your dependency status, your and your parents’ income, and your assets. Your EFC measures your ability to pay for your education. The lower your EFC, the greater your chances might be for receiving financial aid. EFC scores range from 0 to 99,999; as of July 1, 2012 you automatically receive an EFC of 0 if your family’s income is no higher than $23,000 per year.
What do I need to fill out a FAFSA?
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s license or state ID
- W-2 Forms (If you don’t have these forms yet, estimate with your pay stubs and file a correction later.)
- Previous year’s Federal Income Tax Return
- Your parent’s previous year’s Federal Income Tax Return (If you are a dependent.)
- Your untaxed income records
- Current bank statements
- Alien registration or permanent residence card (If you are not a U.S. citizen.)
- FAFSA PIN (This PIN , or personal identification number, will serve as your electronic signature on your FAFSA. It will let you log in to apply for financial aid and access your past aid records. If you are filing as a dependent, your parents will need their own PIN. Visit the Federal Student Aid PIN site to set up PINs.)
All of the financial information you put into your FAFSA needs to be from the previous year. For example, if you are applying for the 2013 academic school year, you need to supply all of your financial information from 2012 on your FAFSA.
FAFSA does not ask about your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or any disabilities. All you need is financial info and records.
Keep in mind that federal aid via the FAFSA is awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Applications are accepted beginning on January 1st for the upcoming school year. So, if you know you will need to fill out a FAFSA for the 2013 school year, get in gear now! Ask your parents now for their financial information so they have time to gather their paperwork and create a PIN.
Who can submit a FAFSA?
Prospective and current college or graduate students. As of July 1, 2012 you must have a high school diploma or an approved substitute like a GED or home-school education to complete a FAFSA.
How can I submit a FAFSA?
- Online via the U.S. Department of Education website. This is the recommended route because you can easily update information and submit renewals.
- Printing a PDF of the FAFSA and mailing it in.
Financial aid and the FAFSA can be confusing when there are terms flying right and left. Take your time and make sure you fill out your FAFSA correctly. If you start now and take a look at the form, you’ll be ready to apply come January 1st. But don’t wait too long! Be proactive and you’ll thank yourself later.
Visit Cappex for learn more about financial aid for college!
Congratulations—you just finished your junior year! After what is arguably the most important year of high school, filled with preparing for and taking standardized tests, harder exams in your classes, and new-found leadership roles, your college search can really begin. You worked hard this year, and it’s time for summer break—but not before one final meeting with your guidance counselor. Applying to college is a detailed process, and this meeting will help you get everything set up before you part ways for the summer.
Get Help Picking Schools
Once your junior year is complete and you have your grades and SAT/ACT scores, it’s time to start applying to college. Meeting with your guidance counselor will give you a chance to discuss which schools you have a good chance of getting accepted into (“strong schools”), which schools may be a reach (“reach schools”), and which schools you should apply to as a back-up where you will definitely be accepted (“safety schools”). Together, you can compile a list of schools that may be right for you; your counselor may even be able to suggest schools that meet your criteria that you didn’t know about or hadn’t been considering.
Make A Timeline
Summer break is a great time to get ahead on your college applications. Some schools begin accepting applications as early as July, leaving you lots of time to get them started before your senior year starts in the fall. When you meet with your guidance counselor and figure out which schools are right for you, look on their websites and find out when the essay topics are released, when the applications open, and the time windows of when applications will be accepted. Creating a timeline of all these dates will help you stay organized and on top of your game.
If you are looking for scholarships to help pay for school, this is also a great time to discuss different options about where to find scholarships and how to apply for them. Your guidance counselor will have information on the different merit-based, need-based, and athletic scholarships that you may qualify for, and can be a great resource in helping you get the financial aid that you need. Cappex is also a great tool to help you apply for scholarships.
Letter of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation can be a great addition to your college application. They are required by some schools and not by others, but they can help you stand out in the applicant pool and make you seem more personable to the Admissions Office. You may want to ask your guidance counselor to write one of these letters for you, as they have been helping you throughout your high school years and they know you both personally and academically.
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