As numerous current and prospective college students begin looking for financial assistance in 2011 college semesters, there are a wide range of options which can be accessed to meet tuition, fees, and book costs, among others, and for this reason many students may get bogged down in the number of opportunities they have to acquire financial aid. Financial assistance from scholarships and grants can be available for individuals who are pursuing a specific degree, may come from a low income backgrounds, are a member of a particular race, or who may be ex-military members, just to name a few, so it’s important for students to focus on specific types of scholarships after they have applied for general financial aid through sources like FAFSA.
Yet, one area that students often look to for scholarship assistance comes directly from the college or university they plan to attend. Institutional scholarships can greatly benefit students attending a particular university and, in many cases, these scholarships are based on merit and can lower the number of competitors. Obviously, major universities will have numerous individuals seeking out coveted scholarships directly from a university, and the competition can still be tough, but general scholarships may be time sensitive or must process a greater number of applications and, as a result, some students may miss certain opportunities.
While merit based scholarships are often quite competitive and, many institutional scholarships will require an application process, potential essays, and interviews, they can also be greatly helpful for students who are looking to have the entirety of their college tuition costs met. Yet, students who apply for these institutional scholarships also have been advised in the past to not only look to these types of financial aid, but educational grants, and again, specific scholarship opportunities that may be available to individuals who are planning to pursue a particular degree or enter into a specific career after graduation.
There are numerous scholarships which individuals can acquire to help pay the entirety or the majority of college costs, but these specific scholarships, federal grants, and institutional financial assistance options may require more work on the part of students who potentially may qualify. It’s for this reason that many financial aid counselors prompt students to begin applying for university financial assistance early as, in some cases, scholarships may have limited funds, may only give a small window where applications will be accepted, but more so, students may have numerous opportunities to acquire funding and simply do not want to run out of time when applying for these forms of aid.