Student debt. Ouch! I just cringed even typing out the words. It’s a burden I wouldn’t wish on anyone – and a problem that way too many college students are facing!
In 2016, the average student graduated owing $37,000 in student loans. And with the rising cost of tuition, books, fees, and room and board; it’s easy to see how it happens.
Maybe you’re thinking about going to college or a trade school. So, do you just have to accept that you’ll start your career thousands of dollars in the red?
We would like to suggest a different alternative! Before you get too bummed, check out these seven ways you can get cash for college by tracking down scholarship and grants.
1. Start Applying As Soon As Possible
Ok, here’s the thing! Scholarships might be free money, but they’re just not going to automatically fall in your lap. Start doing your research now and gathering the items you’ll need to apply.
Many scholarships require you to send a transcript and get recommendations from a teacher or employer. Remember, these people are doing you a favor, and your future depends on it. Be sure to give them plenty of time! Provide any forms that they might need, and give them a stamped and addressed envelope if they have to send the recommendation themselves.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to write them a thank you note for all the help!
2. Apply for Texas Scholarships
Did you know there are nearly 270 colleges, universities, and trade schools in our great state? Everything is bigger in Texas, including higher education! Check out CollegeScholarships.com’s page, exclusively for Texas students. They offer funding opportunities for both public and privates schools. Some are even based on the county where you live. It’s definitely worth a look!
3. Find the Perfect Match on Unigo
You’ve heard about dating sites like Match.com. Think of Unigo as a site that helps you find the colleges and scholarships that are right for you! Get started by creating your account and answering a few questions. Then, let Unigo do the rest! You can search by college, state, major, and scholarship. As if this wasn’t helpful enough, they even have ratings and reviews from other users to help point you in the right direction.
4. Don’t Forget about your Credit Union
Ok, Southeast Texas students! If this blog wasn’t proof enough, we really want to help you get to college. DuGood offers two really great scholarship opportunities for our student members.
From now until April 1, any DuGood members who want to continue their education can center to win a $500 scholarship. Be forewarned though! This isn’t your typical essay writing event. We’re asking all our contestants to make video entries. Bet you never thought a YouTube video would get you to college! For more details, check out our Scholarship Giveaway page.
Have a checking account with us? You could be earning cash for college every time you shop! Students 15 – 24 and up to two family members can earn Scholarship Rewards every time you use your DuGood debit card. When you’re ready, you can redeem your points for cash that can be used for tuition, books, supplies, and dorm life.
5. Show Proof of your Need
What? I mean don’t MOST students NEED scholarships? While that may be true, the school or organization giving out scholarship money can’t just take your word for it. Many scholarships are based on income level, and some schools will even waive tuition based on economic need. Be sure to have all your documentation in order!
Also, check out Dallas Morning News’ Tuition Tracker to see what students at your income level are paying at different public and private universities.
6. Fill out the FASFA
Want a whole financial aid package? Fill out the FASFA and keep filling it our every year you attend school! The federal government, the state, and your college use the FASFA to give out grants and loans based on your financial need. Remember that whole “Show Proof of your Need” thing in our last point!
The FASA form typically becomes available every January. Don’t forget! You’ll need to fill it out every year. It’s required just in case you or your family’s financial circumstances change.
Also, it’s important to be aware that you may be offered student loan through the FASFA, but you don’t have to accept them!
7. Don’t Stop Applying!
To the tune of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”… Ok, ok! But seriously, don’t stop applying for scholarships just because you got into the school of your choice. Some scholarships will only cover your Freshman year. Others will apply for all four, or five, or… Also, some universities will give additional scholarships once they see what you’re a hard worker and make good grades. So, don’t stop hustling!
Pursuing a higher education is definitely a worthwhile thing. Not only does it open the door to the possibility of a great career, but it will grow your character and your life experience in so many ways!
Would you like more information about how you can save money for your college dreams? Be sure to download our FREE College Savings Guide. It’s time to FEEL GOOD about your future!