Does anyone have any tips for looking for scholarships or good financial aid
You can’t really get ‘good financial aid’ since it depends on your family’s income and you can’t really change that. For scholarships apply wide and be yourself!
In terms of financial aid, it is dependent on your income, but you can definitely “barter” with your top choice if another one gives you a better deal. Also, apply for scholarships with small cash amounts! You’re more likely to win those because less people apply. The more obscure, the better! (There are literally scholarships for being left handed.)
Scholarships: Apply to as many as possible. Don’t shy away from scholarship apps requiring essays—many times you can recycle essays to fit the app. Also look for local scholarships, as you probably have a better chance winning local scholarships over nationwide scholarships. Don’t overlook small scholarships—every 1000 counts!
Financial Aid: Look for colleges and universities that meet full financial need. For example, a lot of people think Harvard is too expensive, but they will give aid depending on your household income, even up to a full ride! Also look for schools that give merit-based scholarships to supplement your financial aid.
Definitely do your research- many schools have different policies regarding need-based versus merit-based aid, and even within that some schools give loans as part of the financial aid package and others are solely grants and scholarships. Spend a few hours looking at the financial aid portion of each school’s website so you’re better educated about it in advance- it will save you a lot of headaches down the road!
For financial aid, provide all documents as early and as accurate as possible (tax returns, w2s, etc) And for scholarships, local ones from your school district/small businesses are great but make sure you apply to ones that match your wants/needs!
The most effective way to apply for scholarships that gives you a chance of earning is to apply for scholarships specific to your major, hobbies, leadership, etc. There are often scholarships available for people that belong to certain organizations, ethnicities, and on campus leadership positions.