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A Few Financial Aid Facts


Both students and parents alike want to know if they qualify for scholarships, and, if so, how much they will get.


As always, the standard College Fit 360 reply is “it depends.” And it does. But here are a few things you may not have been thinking about:


  1. If you qualify for need based aid, and you filled out your FAFSA (and CSS if necessary), you will be notified by the college if you’ve gotten this type of aid, either with your acceptance letter or some time after that.Remember, not every college will meet all of your demonstrated need.

  2. With Merit Aid from a particular college, you can get a good idea of what you might get by doing the research.Search the college website for “Merit Aid” and you’ll often find the academic criteria being used – usually a combination of GPA and test score levels.(This year the test scores are less likely to be part of the equation.)You’ll also find out about other merit based scholarships offered by the college that are based on other factors, such as:community service, academic achievements in one specific area, special talents, or other factors.Sometimes these scholarships may require separate essays, so be sure that, if you feel you qualify, you do the work.

  3. Outside scholarships are available from a variety of sources and based on a variety of characteristics.There are a few scholarships sponsored by major companies and non-profits that can be hefty.There are also tons of smaller awards out there from a broad range of sources.You can find the information for these by looking on websites such as:

Finaid.org

Niche.com

Cappex.com

Bigfuture.org

Fastweb.com

You can also find such scholarships by creatively searching the web for awards that meet your specific characteristics –ethnicity, academic interest, hobby, job history, etc.

It’s not too late. While some deadlines may have passed, don’t stop searching. Many scholarship deadlines are for dates after the initial applications have been completed.