Many students are in the midst of seeking out college financial aid through scholarship and grant opportunities, and for this reason, financial aid counselors are prompting these men and women to look at a variety of financial aid options which may come from various sources. Obviously, governmental assistance like Pell Grants are one of the more popular forms of financial aid that students often seek, but there are problems which may arise for students, particularly those who simply do not qualify for these forms of aid, and as a result will require that students look for alternative forms of scholarships and grants.
College students searching for governmental assistance will typically fill out a FAFSA form and this can lead to options which may come from sources like institutional financial aid. Colleges and universities will, in many cases, use the information on a FAFSA form to offer institutional scholarships or grants, but there are also merit based financial aid opportunities that can be accessed by students who may be at the top of their class in terms of grades and academic achievements.
Merit based scholarships can be helpful for students who, again, are looking for a variety of sources of financial assistance, as these specific forms of college financial aid can narrow the field of applicants, especially if specific subjects are involved. While there are federal grants to help students pursuing degrees in areas like teaching, math, and science fields, there are also competitive scholarships that may be available to students in a particular situation, in terms of their academic achievements and extracurricular activities, like clubs or volunteer work.
The college scholarship season can be competitive, though, but these merit-based scholarships are one way that students may be able to enter into a more narrow field of scholarship and grant options, despite the fact that some of these forms of assistance may be competitive as well, they are not usually as accessible to all students seeking general scholarship assistance. Yet, students are still being educated on these scholarship and grant searching techniques as focusing on specific forms of aid like merit-based funds, institutional scholarships, and financial aid specifically for those pursuing a particular degree can open more doors for students, especially if high tuition costs are not covered by current offers for financial assistance a student may have.
Yet, when it comes to the basics of finding scholarships, no matter the category in which they fall, advisors often counsel students to apply for general aid first, like filling out a FAFSA form or looking for options from their chosen university, but also, looking for options specifically for particular college majors, merit-based aid, or even assistance in one’s local area can bring more funds that can help students avoid borrowing loans or meeting costs out-of-pocket.