Let’s face it, financing your college education can be stressful. Fortunately, students have a lot of options to finance their education both through their school and with external sources.
The most common are scholarships, grants and loans.
Scholarships are free money that can be applied towards your college costs. While you may be automatically eligible for certain scholarships through school based on academic performance or experience, you generally must apply for a scholarship. However, you may also be eligible for scholarships based on anything unique to you, including:
- Personal or academic achievements
- Religious organizations
- Your Employer
- And more!
When searching for scholarships it is important to think of location, vocation and association.
Location, location, location. You may have heard this mantra before, but have you ever thought about it regarding financial aid? Location refers to your specific geographical area, but there is no hard and fast rule for what this looks like. Your location can be as broad as the state that you live in, or as narrow as your community and school.
Many states offer grants, scholarships and other financial aid opportunities for residents. Eligibility for state financial aid is usually restricted to residents attending college within the state, but it is not always the case. You can look up more information through the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administration (NASFAA) or review state and local government sites for additional opportunities. There are usually deadlines associated with these funds so be sure to look into them early!
What are you most passionate about? Are you attending school with a specific career in mind?
Many schools offer scholarships for students in specific degree programs. For example, Herzing University offers a Financial Commitment Scholarship for students who are interested in certain academic programs. Degrees like Nursing or Business may qualify you for specific scholarships through outside companies or job placement sites. There are even more specific scholarships that schools may offer.
Did you know Herzing offers tuition discounts for military and employer affiliations? Your previous work, experience and passions can help qualify you for financial aid and/or scholarships.
In addition to what you know, whom you know is also important. Are you associated with a group in your community? Many community organizations like churches, Rotary, American Legion and other groups may offer scholarship or grant opportunities for members or other residents attending college. There is usually an application process associated with these financial aid opportunities that could include requirements for essays, community work or previous experience.
These scholarships can be a great option to help supplement other types of financial aid to pay for school. You should reach out or research options in your groups to see if there are any opportunities available for you.
By keeping in mind your location, vocation and association, you should be able to locate unique scholarship opportunities that are specific to your situation.
While looking for these financial aid opportunities may seem like a lot of work upfront, it ultimately can save you a lot in the long haul! To put it plainly, many scholarships go unpaid due to not receiving any applicants. If you can find a way to help finance your education, it can save you a lot of stress and money!
Other types of financial aid
While many scholarships are available to students, they are not the only opportunity open to students. Other types of financial aid available to you include grants and loans. Watch for the next blog in this series to learn more about these options!
Why Should You Care?
If you are still concerned about what funding your college education could look like, don’t worry. In addition to providing you with an admissions advisor, Herzing University provides you with a financial aid advisor who will work with you one-on-one throughout your education!
Do you want to learn more? Read more in Part 2- Grants and Loans