FAQs--College Financial Aid

Scholarship FAQs

1. Who is eligible for a scholarship or college grant?   Almost everybody. Despite what many people believe, great grades or extreme financial need are not necessary to receive financial aid. Of course, all types of aid come with certain strings attached or conditions, but so many scholarship opportunities exist that almost everyone meets the requirements for some type of help.

2. How much money can I receive? Potentially enough to cover all schools related costs, including tuition, books, room and board, and other miscellaneous expenses.

3. Will winning a scholarship interfere with other types of aid, such as Pell grants?   Possibly. The complete financial aid package offered by a school will be at least partially determined by need. So if you already have substantial scholarship money, the amount of federal, state, or private grant money will probably be reduced.

4. How do I apply? Federal aid starts with filling out the FASFA. Private foundations, schools, and other providers of aid all have their own procedures. Start early! It can be a lengthy, time consuming process.

5. How can I improve my chances of winning a scholarship? There are many things you can do to improve your chances of winning an award. Besides the obvious (such as good grades and high SAT scores), educating yourself on the financial aid process is the best thing you can do. Students miss countless opportunities because they simply do not know about dozens of scholarship for which they may be eligible. They compound this error by missing deadlines, or do not understand what school administrators are looking for in the scholarship applications.

6. What about services that guarantee I will win an award? No service can honestly promise that. But we can increase your chances of winning one by providing accurate information and helping you find as many scholarships as possible that fit your particular situation.

7. What about scholarships reserved for certain groups? Minority scholarships are perhaps the most common of the special group awards. African Americans, Native Americans, and other minority groups have billions of dollars set aside for them, but many people tend to overlook grants that are available for some unlikely groups. For example, one organization offered college aid for left handed people only.

Irish Americans, Italian Americans, and other ethnic groups are not always though of as minorities, but they too have special awards. Increasingly, students with obstacles to overcome get special consideration. Single mother scholarships are becoming more common, as are scholarships for the disabled. Financial aid for particular professions, such as nursing scholarships, are also growing in number.