If your kids are in their later high school years, or entering college, you may be thinking about college tuition assistance. Since college education isn’t getting any cheaper, almost every student leaving high school and going to a college is now seeking some kind of tuition assistance. Whether you are looking for grants, loans, or scholarships, we have some excellent tips and places to look to help generate more funds to pay for college for yourself or your child.
Best Ways To Find College Tuition Assistance
If you are looking for college tuition assistance for a high school student preparing for college, these tips will be ideal. If you are out of school and an adult looking to go back to school, some won’t apply. However, we have included some great ideas that are good for anyone looking to attend college and find savings and assistance in paying for their education.
As you go through this list, know that many will have fairly early deadlines for applications. It is not unusual to see a Junior in high school already looking into scholarships and other college tuition assistance programs. Start doing research as early as possible so you make sure to get your applications and forms in on time to be considered.
Federal Pell Grant
A Pell Grant is a financial aid that is based upon your income. For students coming out of high school, it will be based upon their parents income. The requirements are reasonable. You have to meet the income criteria of course, but if approved the average grade point average required is easy to meet, and the only other requirement is to take a minimum number of course hours per semester. There is a designated amount per year, so make sure that will be spread out among each semester, and take into account it may not be available to pay for all of your books, tuition, or needs if you also take summer school classes.
Local clubs and organizations
Many people find that local groups in their community offer small scholarships each year to qualifying students. You may want to check out local community groups and organizations to see if you quality for their annual scholarships.
Consider checking with the following:
• Local community banks and credit unions
• Local churches or outreach groups
• Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, Moose Lodge, Elk Lodge, and Freemason or Eastern Star groups
• State scholarship funds or state lottery scholarships
• Honors programs through schools or the local state legislature
In some areas, ROTC students are often offered specific scholarships for select fields. This can also be a great time to consider a career in the military and an education in a specialized field of expertise paid for by the military that could also offer a career in the civilian world.
School Sports Programs
Many individual colleges offer free education programs for select school sports programs. Students that excel in some areas of sports or even music can secure a direct scholarship or grant from their college of interest by maintaining above average grades or skill sets. Applying directly with the college for a special scholarship is always a great plan, but understanding how each college or university functions is important.
There are many special scholarships and grants for people who fall into a minority category. Most commonly you will find scholarships available for specific groups such as: African Americans, Hispanics, single moms, or those with a learning disability. While these are considered minority grants, they are not always inclusive of all minorities. Definitely research and look for information on grants available for your ethnic group or specific learning disability.
Vocational Grants or Scholarships
Many fields of study have groups and organizations that also provide scholarships for education each year. From programming languages for the tech field, to the nursing industry, and even teaching industry, there are multiple ways to get an education in specific fields. Typically, these grants or scholarships require a set grade point average be maintained, but also a contract to work in the field of choice for a specific number of years. In recent years nursing and teaching have become more popular fields to find these type of grants.
Business Grants or Scholarships
Many large name businesses also offer small grants or scholarships to their employees or children of their employees. Some companies that have done this in the past include Best Buy, Google, Walmart, Target, Kroger, and many other mainstream retailers and brands. If you are an employee of a large nationwide company or publicly traded company, you may want to inquire with human resources regarding their opportunities for grants or scholarships for yourself or your child.
Ministry or Military Discounts
Many colleges and universities offer discounts to members of the clergy or military. They often will also extend that discount to their immediate family or children. This can be a small discount, but every little bit definitely helps.
Work for the school (Work Study Program)
While this isn’t actually a grant or scholarship, there are some universities out there that offer work study programs that give discounts to students who also work on campus. Each college has some type of discount offered for this program, and should be easy to find out for your specific choice of school.
While this is a last ditch effort to pay for education, it is a possibility for almost anyone. There are Federal Student Loans and Private Student Loans. The amounts will vary, as will the interest rates and qualifications. One of the important things to consider regarding taking out a loan is that they do allow you to go without making payments as long as you are in school. However, for some fields of study, they can rack up a large balance very fast. Interest and penalties if you are unable to find a job in your field after college graduation can be very tough to handle. This should be a last option possible.
Finding college tuition assistances isn’t impossible. While a college education can be difficult for many to afford, there are multiple choices in many fields that can pay for many of the expenses related to a college education. Begin your research early, and don’t fail to look as far as possible for in-depth and hidden grants in your potential field of study or specific state or region.