Quick Tips to Help You Find Money for College

December 20th, 2007

Most families pay for college using a combination of savings, current earnings and financial aid. How do you reduce financial worries and save money?
Start saving early!

• You can accumulate a good amount of compound interest by saving early and regularly.
• Even if you save smaller amounts, you can accumulate more by starting early.
• Early planning allows you to save for both education and retirement.
• Early investing helps you complete college with less debt.
• When you have a larger college fund, you have a broader range of college choices.

When searching for the right scholarship, contact:
• Clubs
• Businesses
• Churches
• Professional organizations
The types of scholarships listed above are not widely publicized. This means they have fewer applicants, which, if you find them, equals higher odds of winning for you! Don’t forget to ask your college financial aid office, local high school counselor or librarian for direction. Remember – helping students locate financial aid is part of their job, and they help people like you every day. Let them be a helpful resource to you!

Related Quick Facts
• 63% of all undergraduates enrolled in 2003–04 received some type of financial aid.
• Undergraduates are more likely to receive grants than student loans, but the average grant amount is usually less than the average student loan amount.
• 51% of undergraduates receive grants and about 1/3 take out student loans.
• In 2003-04, the average amount of grants students received was $4,000 and the average amount borrowed by undergraduates was $5,800.
• Enrolled undergraduates are more likely to receive federal grants than grants from any other source.
• An alternative source for grants can come from employers, parents’ employers or private foundations.

Finding Scholarships and Grants
• Your prospective school may award scholarships based on academic performance, but this doesn’t have to be the only measurement of worth.
• Ethnic heritage organizations often provide scholarships to exceptional students who share their ethnic or cultural backgrounds.
• Some employers offer scholarships to their employees or to children or spouses of employees.
• Churches, synagogues, temples and religious denominations offer scholarships to members in their congregation or who are planning careers in the clergy.
• Trade and research organizations sponsor scholarships to attract students to a field of study facing a worker shortage. They also encourage returning, international or minority students to work toward a specific degree in their designated field.

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