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Financial Aid

College can be pretty costly, and financial aid is often needed. Check out the tools below for scholarship opportunities to pay your way through your new school. Remember, though, that multiple scholarships are necessary if you want to graduate debt-free. While many of these applications are time consuming and often have other requirements such as completing essays, they're critical in paying for your books, tuition, and other supplies.

Before you begin, be aware there are numerous scams that will charge you an application fee for a relatively low award. Most legitimate scholarships will be free to apply for, so you should strongly consider competing for those first. Consider reviewing the following resource from the Federal Trade Commission on avoiding both scholarship and financial aid scams.

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is one of the first steps in seeking financial aid. The application can be fairly long to finish but it is crucial in receiving federal loans and consideration for the Pell Grant - free money you can use to pay for school. Federal loans typically have much lower interest rates than private companies, which often have severe penalties for late payments and fluctuating interest rates.

After completing the FAFSA, you'll want to start looking for private scholarships. There's a TON of scholarship opportunities which range from helping students from low-income families to far more specialized scholarships seeking to help students who plan to pursue careers in engineering, dancing, theatre, mathematics, and more. With enough effort there's a good chance you'll find a scholarship that specifically wants to help you realize your dreams.

Career One Stop Scholarship Search:
This scholarship enables you to search for scholarships based on your level of education, ethnicity, and state. If you don't find any scholarships you can apply for, try using the next site. 

Sallie Mae Scholarship Search:
A free account is required to use this scholarship search engine, but the huge amount of scholarships the site discovers is worth the minute-or-two registration process. Some scholarships found in this engine will require their own registration.