• Scholarships help to cover the cost of college and avoid student debt.
• Explore scholarships and grants offered by colleges, government programs, and companies, like ours here at Student Loans Guy.
• Submit a FAFSA online to qualify for grants and scholarships.
We covered how a high credit score will get you a lower rate on your loans – but what if you could avoid student loans altogether? It’s possible to get not only your tuition, but also all of your living costs covered by scholarships.
Most people won’t be lucky enough to receive this much help, but even a thousand dollars here and there can go a long way to decrease your debt burden over time. Remember, compound interest works in your favor when it comes to savings, but against you with student debt. Scholarships help you avoid paying too much interest on student loans.
What Is a Scholarship?
A scholarship is a gift of money. Unlike a loan, it does not need to be paid back. Scholarships are usually offered to students based on merit or need. Merit-based scholarships are awarded for good grades, high test scores, or other unique skills or accomplishments. If you need help preparing for standardized tests, you can use online sites like Magoosh or Chegg. Athletic scholarships are given to people who excel at a particular sport. Most people think of football or basketball players, but other sports teams like volleyball and lacrosse often provide scholarships too.
The majority of scholarships are given directly by colleges. You may receive a specific offer when you’re admitted to a school, or you may need to find and apply for scholarships on the college’s website. Most majors offer awards or scholarships to their highest achieving students.
The majority of scholarships are given directly by colleges.
There are also scholarship funds dedicated specifically for students in disadvantaged or underrepresented groups. This could be based on race, gender, or even where you grew up. Some large corporations award scholarships, so if your parents work for a large company, ask them to look into available opportunities.
Some states have scholarship programs for students who choose to attend college in their home state. Florida provides the Bright Future Scholarship to high school grads who meet its GPA, SAT, and service requirements. West Virginia has the PROMISE Scholarship for in-state students who meet the minimum GPA and test scores. Look online to find information specific to your state. Many of these government scholarships can last all four years of your undergrad, or throughout your time in grad school. Be aware that most have minimum requirements, such as maintaining a certain GPA.
The federal government also provides grants, which are need-based scholarships. If your family’s household income is relatively low, you can apply for federal grants to help cover the cost of college. The Pell Grant, for example, is given to students based on financial need, helping to level the playing field for lower income students. You’re automatically considered for a Pell Grant when you fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Be sure to submit a FAFSA online to qualify for most grants and scholarships.
At Student Loans Guy, we’re all about helping you get through college with as little debt as possible. And to put our money where our mouth is, we created our own Student Loans Guy scholarship. We’ll be awarding one deserving student $1,000 for the Fall 2017 semester. If you’re currently a student, you can apply directly here.
- Scholarships are a great way to cover the cost of college and avoid student debt.
- Explore the scholarships and grants offered by colleges, government programs, and companies, like ours here at Student Loans Guy.
- Be sure to submit a FAFSA online to qualify for grants and scholarships.
Disclosure: Student Loans Guy is a free site that provides unbiased information on financial products. In order to keep the lights on, we are compensated when you get a product from one of our partners. Part of this goes to the Student Loans Guy Scholarship and allows our site to always remain free to our readers.