Free financial aid through scholarships and grants are available to many college students who are having trouble meeting the costs of college tuition. Tuition, fees, and books, among other expenses, are vital for one’s educational experience and many college students have trouble paying these necessities, so scholarships and grants opportunities are often sought out by college students either before or during their college career.
Scholarships and grants are similar in that they are free financial aid sources that can help pay for some of or all of the costs that are associated with attending a college or university. Scholarships are usually given based on one’s academic merit, while grants, like the Federal Pell Grant, are often awarded to those who come from low income families. Yet, there is no boundary for scholarship and grant opportunities as these forms of financial aid can be awarded for a variety of reasons and come in differing amounts.
High school students usually make up one of the largest groups of individuals who are looking for scholarship or grant opportunities. While there are many types of scholarships and grants available for high school students, there are also grants and financial aid opportunities through scholarships available to people of a specific race, sex, or group. For instance, there are scholarship opportunities for minorities, single mothers, and military personnel, just to name a few.
Typically, students can use a FAFSA form which will essentially look at their financial information to see whether a college student qualifies for free federal financial aid, which includes student loans, but various scholarship sources must be applied for individually before someone will be considered. Usually, a high school guidance counselor will have some scholarships applications for students but by simply running a Google search, students who are entering college for the first time or who are currently in college will find an endless amount of scholarship and grant opportunities for which they may qualify.
While there is assistance in the form of student loans, it will benefit a college student to seek out as much financial assistance through free sources of aid like scholarships and grants before turning to student loans. While student loans, like federal student loans, can sometimes be affordable and come with a low interest rate, it will be best if a student can graduate a college or a university without any debt.