Since tuition costs are going up, it can be hard for many families to pay for college.
During the 2018-2019 school year, students paid a net price of $13,900 at public institutions, $27,200 at private nonprofit institutions, and $23,800 at private for-profit institutions, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics. The annual costs of tuition, room and board, books, and fees are all part of the net price.
Many students and their parents fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to find out how much money they can get from the school, the state, and the federal government. This helps them pay for college. Most families can get some kind of help, like student loans, which help many families pay for college but must be paid back with interest. Some people may need to take out loans to pay for their post-secondary education, and it’s important for students to know how this will affect their finances in the long run. By the end of 2021, the average student debt was $31,100.
Scholarships, on the other hand, can be a cheap way to pay for some of the costs of college. Scholarships are different from loans in that they don’t have to be paid back, and they often look at different parts of a student’s life, such as their academic achievements or athletic skills. College Ave made a list of the different types of scholarships that students can get in addition to the FAFSA.
Merit aid is a type of financial aid that is given to students based on their skills or academic performance. These can be things like being good at sports or art, getting high test scores, or getting good grades. Scholarships for students based on their skills and hard work can be a way for colleges and universities to get the best students to come to their campuses. Most of the time, if a student gets merit aid, they may have to keep their grade point average, or GPA, above a certain level. One way students can get merit aid is through the National Merit Scholarship Program. To qualify, high school students must take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Aid Based on Need
Need-based aid scholarships are given to students based on their finances as well as their skills. This usually means that the family income of the student does not go over a certain amount. For example, students whose family income is less than $70,000 can take part in the Greenhouse Scholars Program. Depending on the scholarship, however, some programs may also have other requirements, such as a minimum GPA, good grades, leadership skills, and extracurricular activities. Some need-based scholarships, like The Gates Scholarship, only pay for costs left over after all other federal aid has been given. Before applying for a need-based scholarship, you should always read the rules.
Scholarships based on who you are
An identity-based scholarship is a type of financial aid that is usually given to underrepresented groups to encourage them to join programs and fields that tend to be homogeneous. This can include students from certain ethnic and cultural backgrounds, LGBTQ+ people, or those who have trouble learning or moving around. Third-party groups like the Point Foundation, which gives the BIPOC Scholarship for LGBTQ Students, or the Hispanic Scholarship Fund often give out scholarships based on identity. Many of these scholarships require a certain GPA or the study of a certain subject or career field, in addition to a certain identity.
Grants from the government
The government, whether it’s local, state, or federal, also gives students grants and loans, as well as scholarships. Different parts of the country offer different kinds of these options, so the requirements to get this kind of help will also vary. For example, students who have been in foster care in California can get a scholarship from the government. With its One Family Scholarship Program, the state of Massachusetts gives scholarships to anyone who is the “head of household” and has children under 18 and is at risk of being homeless. Scholarships from the government can also go to certain programs, like helping students pay for studying abroad.
Scholarships for athletes
Athletic scholarships are a type of financial aid that is based on how well a student does in sports like football or hockey. Some scholarships pay for everything, including tuition, books, and room and board. Scholarships for athletics help college and university sports teams find and recruit talented athletes. Like most scholarships, this type of aid usually requires a student to have a minimum GPA, leadership skills, and extracurricular activities, in addition to their athletic skills. Some scholarships may also ask students to show that they need the money.
Scholarships based on activities
Some scholarships are given to students based on their job, hobby, or activities outside of school. In some cases, this kind of help is paid for by donations from people who want to help or by foundations that work with the school. For example, Coastal Carolina University gives out scholarships to students who join a club or do community service on campus. The scholarships are set up and paid for by the Coastal Educational Foundation at the university.
Scholarships for military
According to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics for 2020, between 2015 and 2016, there were nearly 1.2 million military undergraduates and 241,000 military graduate students. There are scholarships for all five parts of the U.S. military: the Army, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, the Marine Corps, and the Navy. Most of the time, this kind of help goes to veterans and service members who are active or in the reserve. Some military scholarships may even be given to a person’s family. Like most scholarships, this kind of help may depend on your grades or how much money you need.
Help with college costs from an employer
Employers can sometimes make the difference that makes it possible for someone to go to college or university after high school. A company will give its employees scholarships and help with tuition if they want to learn more and get better at what they do. UPS, Chipotle, Walmart, and Starbucks are just some of the companies that will help pay for their workers to go back to school. Depending on the program, Chipotle will pay for all of an employee’s college costs. Starbucks will pay for all of the tuition for full-time or part-time employees who choose to get their bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program.
These are just a few of the different kinds of scholarships that students can get to help pay for college. Do your research to make sure you meet all the requirements and are eligible. Apply for scholarships all year long, because every little bit helps.