If you’re a college-bound senior researching the cost of attending your school of choice, you are likely aware that the cost of attending college has gone up dramatically in the past decade, and there is no sign of reduction in the near future. Education is no longer something most students and their families can easily achieve without monetary help, which is why knowing how to get the most out of scholarships and financial aid is more critical than ever.
The good news is, students and their parents looking for financial aid are not without options. Knowing where to go for reliable financial aid and credible scholarships is one of the first things you’ll want to do in determining what options you want to consider to help pay for college.
In an effort to help you get started with a few options available online, we have provided a breakdown of five leading financial aid websites that can guide you along the way. Though this is not a comprehensive list, each of the options below has been included on its own merit and should be investigated fully to ensure it fits your needs.
This site functions as something like a video game where you earn points for overcoming obstacles or reaching new levels of achievement. Students parlay scholastic and extracurricular successes into micro-scholarships, then subsequently cash in at a Raise.me college upon acceptance and confirmation of attendance. The “savings” process for students can begin as early as 9th grade, leaving ample time to accrue valuable dollars for continued education.
Not only for students, Raise.me also provides starter kits for educators and updates for parents and relatives. Raise.me is free for students and high schools.
Tuition Funding Sources (TFS) allows users to search for various scholarships and research student loan options. One notable feature is the “Scholarship of the Day” listing, which provides a new scholarship posting everyday for various backgrounds and education and career goals. Be sure to follow TFS on social media to stay current on what new scholarships might interest you. Registration on the site is free, and it takes only minutes to get started.
For treasure seekers looking to fine-tune the scholarship hunt, Scholarship Monkey can offer just that by allowing users to narrow their search by three categories: personal profile, keyword, or type of scholarship. The site’s variety of search possibilities will allow you to create a wide or narrow filter according to preferences. Scholarship Monkey also publishes “Latest Awards and Contests” where students can enter various drawings and sweepstakes for chances to win money for college.
Students looking for a scholarship industry veteran need not look any further than Scholarships.com. This site has enjoyed more than 17 years of service, helping students find the financial aid that’s right for them.
Scholarships.com’s database is updated daily and boasts a sizable roster, making options plentiful for students of all kinds. Despite its vast database, the site manages to keep registration and search relatively simple, yielding a windfall of resources for students and educators alike.
bigfuture by The College Board
Not relegated to scholarships, bigfuture by The College Board also helps students locate different types of financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling almost $6 billion. The scholarship information distilled on the site is based on the College Board’s Annual Survey of Financial Aid Programs, a survey of more than 1,200 scholarship sponsoring organizations that is unique to this site.
Admittedly, the process of searching and applying for financial aid can be a time-consuming process, but it is one that is worth the reward.
In order to properly finance your college experience, it’s important to establish a game plan with the resources at our disposal. Whether it is a recommendation from a friend or something you learned from this blog, use all available resources to find the best scholarship or financial aid options to fit your needs.