How to NOT Pay for College

Looking to find a way to cover your out-of-pocket school expenses? Interested in reducing your student loan debt? Sounds like you should start applying for scholarships.  Applying for scholarships sounds like it takes hard work, creativity and time, but these tips will help demystify the process.

Here are some “Do’s and Don’ts” for the scholarship application process:

Do: Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even if you missed the institution’s priority deadline, you may not have missed the deadline for scholarships. Don’t miss out on free scholarship money.

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Do: Check in with the Financial Aid Office. The Financial Aid Office offers many resources and tools to find scholarship information and applications.  One primary source is a list that is regularly updated on the myAlbertus Portal.  Click the Financial Aid Services tab (top right side), next click the Alternative Financing link (left side), then a list of updated scholarships and the links will appear.  Scholarship information can also be found on the Financial Aid bulletin board and in the “Scholarship Book” in the Financial Aid Office.  Occasionally, Financial Aid Counselors will send emails to students who have been pre-screened to meet scholarship criteria.

Do: Check with your local clubs and organizations. Organizations such as The American Legion, Knights of Columbus, local Elks Club and Lions Club frequently offer scholarship opportunities. Each club or organization has its own selection criteria process.  Membership is not always required.resources and tools to find scholarship information and applications.  One primary source is a list that is regularly updated on the myAlbertus Portal.  Click the Financial Aid Services tab (top right side), next click the Alternative Financing link (left side), then a list of updated scholarships and the links will appear.  Scholarship information can also be found on the Financial Aid bulletin board and in the “Scholarship Book” in the Financial Aid Office.  Occasionally, Financial Aid Counselors will send emails to students who have been pre-screened to meet scholarship criteria.

Do: Check with your employer or parent’s employer. Many employers not only offer scholarships, but tuition remission, another means of financing your education without coming out of your pocket.

Do: Check social media sites. There are scholarships listed on Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and pretty much every other social media forum on the Web. Try to narrow your search by adding additional details (i.e. #Scholarship will bring up everything from news articles, to recipients, to blogs about scholarships; however, #AccountingScholarships narrows the search dramatically).

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Do: Search the Web. Think regionally in your search not just locally; searching “New

Haven County Scholarships” or “New England Scholarships” broadens your opportunities and will allow you to find some overlooked and potentially lucrative scholarships.

Do: Use free scholarship search services. Sites like Fastweb.com and ScholarshipExperts.com may take 15 minutes to complete a profile, but cut down on the time spent searching and allow you to get to the important part, APPLYING.

Do: Have fun with it! Not all scholarships are serious. A search of weird or obscure scholarships will result in a ton of interesting topics and fun applications. ScholarshipExperts.com offers a “Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship,” a “Superpower Scholarship” and a “Make me Laugh Scholarship” to just name a few.

Don’t: Ignore deadlines. You don’t want to miss out on any free scholarship money.

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Don’t: Give out your bank account or credit card information. Do not proceed with the application unless you are 100% sure the organization is legitimate.

Don’t: Pay a scholarship application fee. College is expensive enough. Save your money for books and other educational expenses.

Don’t: Give in to anything branded as “limited time offer” or “exclusive opportunity.” These are high-pressured sales tactics which could end up being misleading.

DON’T FORGET: Stop in or call anytime. We’re here to help point you in the right direction.

 

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