How to Dull the Sting of Increasing Tuition Costs
by Monica Wheeler
At a time when unemployment is high, personal income is flat, and college-level
education is a requirement for most well-paying jobs, U.S. public colleges
continue to become less affordable for students and families.
According to a recent report on college affordability from The National Center
for Public Policy and Higher Education, state spending for colleges and universities
has dropped sharply. The result ? a higher cost for higher education.
Despite serious increases, few states have invested significant financial
aid to offset the cost while some have actually decreased student grant aid
spending. Today?s families are left to shoulder the worst public, higher education
fiscal news in a decade.
However, there is money available for the diligent. Scholarships and grants
offered through the private sector are available to help pay increasing tuition
cost. Awards, need and merit based, are usually categorized by geographic location,
special interest, or major career fields. Since criteria are specific, finding
the right award can be tedious- but considering the current economic recession,
well worth the effort.
Here?s how to begin a productive grant and scholarship search:
1. Online Search-The Internet has emerged as a key source of scholarship information.
The following are a handful of helpful sites.
http://www.wiredscholar.com Wired Scholar has one of the internet?s largest
databases of financial aid.
http://www.fastweb.com FastWeb allows you to search 600,000 scholarships worth
over $1 billion dollars.
http://www.brokescholar.com The BrokeScholar database matches student profiles
with more than 900,000 scholarships worth over $3 billion to find the most
relevant and obtainable opportunities. They also feature a personalized deadline
http://www.collegeboard.com The College Board is a trusted source that offers
a search with 2,000 scholarships, internships, and loan programs.
2. Public and School Libraries-While you want to use the Internet for searches;
there is a lot of competition. Got to local libraries and check with the reference
desk for institutional, and private student aid scholarship directories. Most
of the awards listed are duplicated online, but not all. By investing time
to thumb through the telephone-directory-sized books you may find one or two
the competition will miss.
3. Local Organizations -There is a better chance of winning money from local
organizations such as churches, clubs, community groups, and unions since fewer
students are likely to apply. Look for local chapters of larger, national organizations
that often give money to students living in certain areas.
4. Place of Employment-Employers may also offer grants and scholarships. Inquire
at your personnel office. Dependent students should ask their parent or legal
guardian to check the availability of awards.
5. Announcements -Keep your eyes open. Take time to read bulletin boards,
posters, and articles in newspapers for competition announcements. Some scholarships
are episodic and may occur only once.
About the Author
Monica Wheeler is a national- award- winning freelance writer,
who has helped thousands of parents and students prepare for university admissions.
For ?35 Practical Ways to Get Money for College? visit http://www.cashforcollege.bizhosting.com