The Planning Stage
Most families pay for college using a combination of savings, current earnings and financial aid. How do you reduce financial worries and save money?
Start saving early!
• Saving early and regularly gives compound interest time to accumulate to your benefit.
• By starting early, you can save smaller amounts over a longer period of time.
• Early planning allows you to save for both education and retirement.
• Early investing helps students complete college with less debt.
• Having a larger college fund gives students a broader range of college choices.
When searching for scholarships, contact:
• Social organizations
Usually, the above types of scholarships are not widely publicized. This means they have fewer applicants, which equals higher odds of winning for you! Don’t forget to ask your local high school counselor, librarian and college financial aid office for direction. Remember – helping students locate financial aid is part of their job, and they help people like you every day. They can be your best source of help!
Related Quick Facts
• Sixty-three percent of all undergraduates enrolled in 2003–04 received some type of financial aid.
• Undergraduates were more likely to receive grants than student loans in 2003–04, but the average grant amount was less than the average student loan amount.
• About one-half (51 percent) of undergraduates received grants and about one-third (35 percent) took out student loans.
• The average amount of grants received was $4,000, and the average amount borrowed by undergraduates in 2003–04 was $5,800.
• Undergraduates enrolled in 2003–04 were more likely to receive federal grants than grants from any other source.
• An alternative source for grants can come from employers, parents’ employers or private foundations.
Finding Scholarships and Grants
• Your prospective school may award scholarships based on academic performance, but this doesn’t have to be the only measurement of worth.
• Ethnic heritage organizations often provide scholarships to exceptional students sharing their ethnic or cultural backgrounds.
• Employers will many times offer scholarships to their employees or to children or spouses of employees.
• Churches, synagogues, temples and religious denominations offer scholarships for students who are a part of their congregations or are planning a career in the clergy.
• Trade and research organizations sponsor scholarships to attract students to a field of study facing a worker shortage or to encourage returning, international or minority students to work toward a specific degree.