Many colleges use data from the CSS/Financial Aid Profile. In October begin applying online for non-federal financial aid at: College Board - Sign-in
In January fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be aware that many states require additional forms. Visit How Financial Aid Works | Federal Student Aid for more info.
In February start your search for scholarships. Check to see what your state's financial aid deadline is. Some are as early as March 1st.
In April discuss the financial aid package from each school with your family. Calculate how much is still needed. Decide if you need a private loan or more scholarships to make ends meet.
Remember to include the cost of books which can add $1000 to $1400 a semester.
Borrowing from Your 401(k) Think Twice: It Could Cost You
You will be paying your school a very large sum of money, so you better be happy with your choice of school and the career that comes after it. Make sure the tuition is affordable before you set your heart on one that is really out of reach. The college board's research indicates that you may want to work during high school to start saving.
Warning: Not all website scholarship searches may be worthwhile. Use the free resources first. When deciding, ask is this a money making business or a free search site?
Don't expect that a college scholarship is going to solve all your money problems. Learn about the many aspects of financing college tuition. You'll need income from a part time job in addition to financial aid. Try your college job center and these job sites:
Colorado Christian University named the #1 college in CO for the lowest average student loan debt at graduation in a study of over 1,300 schools in U.S.
Ask your guidance counselor for a job forecast report. IMPORTANT: also ask to be tested to find out the kind of job for which you are best suited. Note: new bankruptcy laws will not allow student aid debt to be forgiven. Be prepared to pay off your loans in full. Yea, it's scary, but good financial advisors will tell you it is worth it to borrow for a job targeted education. Don't worry - you can do it. Have faith in yourself.
Be sure to choose a major you like and which is employable (e.g. not Art History or Journalism). Check the employment ads where you want to live and see the kinds of skills which employers need.
DO YOUR CAREER RESEARCH BEFORE CHOOSING A MAJOR!
Check out job sites such as indeed.com to see what is in demand now.
Look at job forecasts to see what will be in demand when you graduate. See Career Planner.com.
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