Figuring out how to pay for college takes a great deal of effort. Costs are high and financial aid is limited so it’s important to start early and investigate all your options—remembering that the more time you spend searching for financial aid, the more aid you are likely to find.
The financial aid system works on one basic principle: Parents and students contribute to the cost of college to the extent they are able. If they are unable to contribute the entire cost, financial aid is available.
Scholarships are another way to help pay for college. There are scholarships you can apply for each year of high school, although most are for seniors. We post scholarships we know about on Naviance. You can search for scholarships on your own, too. There are online searches and sometimes there are even scholarships that are offered through your parents' employers or local agencies. Just be aware of scams -- NEVER pay to apply for a scholarship!
Pulling everything together to pay for college—your resources, your parents’ help, financial aid, and other resources—is hard work. But it can be done and it can be a very rewarding experience for you and your family.
Here are some online resources regarding financial aid and scholarships you may find helpful:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college/checklists -- Provides checklists of what students and families can be doing in elementary school, middle school, grade 9, grade 10, grade 11, and grade 12 to save for post-secondary education.
www.fafsa.ed.gov -- The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is required of all applicants for college financial aid. This site answers frequently asked questions, allows users to file the FAFSA online, or check the status of a previously submitted FAFSA. Now available October 1.
https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile -- This site provides information on completing the CSS Profile and also allows you to complete the form online
www.ed.gov -- Financial aid information from the U.S. Department of Education
www.fastweb.com -- Largest online data base for scholarships. Also provides excellent information on all aspects of the college process
www.scholarshipsforhispanics.org -- Lists scholarships available for students of Hispanic origin
www.collegegoalsundayct.org -- Register for free help with FAFSA
http://collegecost.ed.gov/catc/Default.aspx -- The U.S. Department of Education's College Affordability and Transparancey Center website that allows you to look at colleges with the highest and lowest net prices
https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/ -- Compares the cost of attendance vs. average salary from graduates
http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/online-colleges/ -- A website that discusses the option of taking college courses online. This guide explains key features, money saving tips as well as financial aid, and FAFSA resources. (These are online colleges and we ask that you do your due diligence in researching if this is a good option for you)
http://www.college-scholarships.com - lists and links to more than 70 no-cost college scholarship search sites which match students to available scholarships. Also provides college search information, a loan repayment calculator, a GPA calculator, and post-secondary planning resources for students with special needs.
http://oedb.org/scholarships/ - Open Education Database with links to over 20,000 scholarships and organizations for grant monies. The scholarship tab will direct you to explore each scholarship individually to confirm eligibility, while the Financial Aid tab will help you explore specialty and subject-based grants.
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/scholarship-sea... - Welcome to the College Board's Scholarship Search. Find scholarships, other financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs. Enter as much information as possible to find the most matches. Scholarship information is based on the College Board's Annual Survey of Financial Aid Programs.