Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial Aid is based on the family’s ability to pay in relation to the school’s tuition. All schools require completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This should be completed as quickly after January 1 of the senior year as possible. Most schools have a priority deadline of February 15. The sooner this is completed, the greater your chances of receiving available grant money. Your financial aid package will be composed of three possible sources 1) grants, which do not need to be paid back 2) loans and 3) work-study employment.
Some schools require a second application know as the CSS Profile. This form can be filed for a modest fee and should be completed as soon as possible after October 1 of the senior year. The most important thing to keep in mind is the list of exact requirements for each school and to read their information carefully.
For those students seeking scholarships, we encourage registering with a free online scholarship search service called FastWeb by the end of the junior year, and take into consideration these three avenues to obtain scholarship:
- Institutional Scholarships
Many colleges and universities offer merit scholarships based on the student’s GPA and standardized test scores. When contacting the school for admission information, inquire as to their specific scholarship criteria. Many schools have earlier application deadlines for students applying for scholarships, as well as specific application material. To ensure the criteria is met, students should complete their scholarship research process by their junior summer, and be prepared to apply as soon as possible in the early fall of their senior year.
- Corporations and Places of Employment
A wide array of companies offer scholarships through an application/essay process. Coca Cola, Radio Shack, and Discover Card are a few examples of this. Also, check with your employer for scholarships they may offer. Information is posted in the College Counseling Office as well as sent via email to students.
- Minority Scholarships
Several organizations offer scholarships for students of color. Examples include the Ron Brown Scholar Program for African American students, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for Latino students. Information about such scholarships is posted in the College Counseling Office as well as sent via email to students.