Can Scholarships Help with the Cost of Education

A higher education can mean a world of new opportunity. However, pursuing an education is more expensive than a lot of people realize. That is why help from scholarships can make this cost way more affordable. Scholarships can help people deal with the cost of education. However, a lot of students don’t fully understand scholarships and how to get them. Luckily, if you’re in the same boat, you’re not alone.

Understanding Scholarships

Scholarships are a form of financial aid that can help students with the cost of getting their undergraduate degree. There are scholarship opportunities for graduate degrees but they are much more rare to come by and harder to benefit from.

Scholarships can come in a variety of different forms. Some scholarships are a one-time check while others are renewable and can help students every semester (or school year). Sometimes the funds are delivered directly to the student while other times they are delivered to the school. It just depends on the scholarship you get! Scholarships are a popular assistance option for people because the funds given do not need to be repaid.

Where are Scholarships From?

There is not one source when it comes to scholarships. Instead, they come from a bunch of different sources. These sources can include:

  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Clubs
  • Colleges
  • Foundations
  • The Government
  • Individuals
  • Organizations
  • Universities

Who Qualifies for Scholarships?

It’s a common misconception that scholarships are only given to people that have outstanding GPAs. Instead, there are so many different scholarships and each one has its own eligibility criteria. Scholarships may be awarded to students in financial need, students that are studying a specific field, students that academically excel, and more. There will likely be a variety of scholarships that you may be able to qualify for since there are many different ways that a student can be eligible.

How Can You Use Scholarship Funding?

If you receive a scholarship check (in your name) then you can use the money for anything. However, you should use it on it’s intended purpose, which is to help you with the cost of education. Some people may be tempted to spend the check elsewhere but you should try to avoid doing that! Expenses like tuition, books, housing, supplies, food, and other educational needs are what you should use the funds on.

If the scholarship is given to the school then they can apply the funds towards educational expenses as well. Any extra money from the scholarship may be able to be refunded to you if all your educational expenses are covered. When you will receive the funds depends on the scholarship that you were awarded.

How to Find Scholarships?

There are a variety of ways that you can search for available scholarship opportunities. When reviewing information online you will need to be careful. There may be some scammers looking to take advantage of those looking for financial assistance. Some great sources of scholarship information include:

  • The Financial Aid Office at Your School
  • Your High School Counselor
  • This Free Scholarship Tool from the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Federal Agencies
  • Your State Grant Agency
  • Local Organizations
  • Your Employer

Alternatives to Scholarships

If you are interested in other forms of financial assistance then you are in luck! There are other ways that people can get help when dealing with the cost of education:

  • Grants
  • Work-Study Jobs
  • Student Loans
  • Military Aid
  • International Study Aid

Grants

This is another type of free money assistance that can help and doesn’t need to be repaid. However, you may still be responsible for repaying grants if you do not fully meet the requirements after receiving the funding. There are plenty of local, state, and federal grant options that may be able to help. Federal grants are especially popular and some common choices are:

  • Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

Work-Study Jobs

There is a federal Work-Study program that provides students the opportunity to earn money to go towards the cost of schooling through working part-time. However, there may be other work-study job opportunities that are for students who want full-time opportunities. The amount of pay will vary based on the job you get! You can see if this is an option that you can consider by talking to your school’s financial aid office.

Student Loans

A majority of Americans can’t pay for the costs of college out of pocket. Instead, they need to get help from student loans. There are federal student loans and private student loans. Many people prefer federal ones because they provide more flexibility and benefits to their borrowers. However, private student loans are popular as well, so it is important to compare your options!

Military Aid

Military service members have sacrificed a lot for the greater good of their country. That is why  there are exclusive aid programs available for those in the military and their families like their spouse or children.

International Study Aid

If you are looking to go to school outside of America then you could be in luck. There are federal student aid assistance options that can help those who are studying abroad or getting their degree from an international school.

Overall

Many students looking to get a higher education can benefit from getting a scholarship. Scholarships can provide financial assistance with this expensive cost. There are countless scholarships available so regardless of your age, field of study, etc., you may be able to qualify. If you want to review your options there are free resources that you can check out like:

  • The Financial Aid Office at Your School
  • Your High School Counselor

This Free Scholarship Tool from the U.S. Department of Labor

  • Federal Agencies
  • Your State Grant Agency
  • Local Organizations
  • Your Employer

If you are looking for alternatives to scholarships then you have those options to consider too! There are plenty of alternatives that can help with the cost of education like:

  • Grants
  • Work-Study Jobs
  • Student Loans
  • Military Aid
  • International Study Aid

Regardless of what assistance option you choose, the cost of education doesn’t need to be as expensive as it is. There are ways that you can make schooling more affordable for your financial situation. Take your time, and getting in touch with professionals may be able to help along the way. Start with your school’s financial aid office!