Need-based Financial Aid
Nearly all Troy students attending some form of post-secondary education (junior or community college, vocational-technical or trade schools, four-year colleges and universities) will qualify for some need-based financial aid. The prerequisite for nearly all of this financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, generally called the FAFSA.
For a comprehensive overview of all types of need-based federal aid, click on the following link: http://studentaid.ed.gov/
Don’t be fooled by rip-off organizations.
The key word in the FAFSA is “Free.” The correct link is www.fafsa.ed.gov –emphasis on “.gov”
You and one parent will need a Federal Student Aid ID number to complete the FAFSA. Here’s the link to obtain the FSA ID: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm
Most colleges have important financial aid deadlines. Don’t miss them. Most regional colleges want you to completed a FAFSA by December 1. Consult the web page for the admissions or financial aid office if you have questions. While late applications will be processed, typically students do no receive as much financial aid when they miss the FAFSA filing deadline.
Some thoughts on scholarship strategies
Most scholarship dollars will likely come from the college that accepts you for admission. It has been estimated that over ninety percent of the scholarship dollars will likely come from the college that admits you. As such, it is advisable that you make certain to meet their scholarship application deadlines. If you have questions, contact the admissions office of that school.
Consider the competition
You would be wise to consider the competition for a scholarship before taking the time to apply. Unless you have an unlimited supply of spare time (and I’m sure you don’t) then you simply cannot apply for every conceivable scholarship. After the college that accepts you, your best bet for scholarship dollars are local sources.
Apply first to local scholarship organizations. Chances are, you’ll be competing against only a handful of other applicants.
After that, look for scholarships that are regional. If you still have time, consider applying for scholarships that are for Montana residents only.
Applying for national scholarships is, by definition, a long-shot gamble. You might be competing against tens of thousands of other applicants. However, your level of accomplishment may indeed make you nationally competitive. If you’ve distinguished yourself with exceptional grades, test scores, extra-curricular accomplishments, or unique talents, you may indeed be nationally competitive. The suggestion here is to use your time wisely and prioritize your time for completing scholarship applications accordingly.
Don’t get ripped off. Clever marketeers are waiting to charge you a fee. It may be an “application processing” fee, a “guaranteed to find scholarships for which you are eligible” fee, or even a request for a credit card number “for identification purposes.” NO REPUTABLE SCHOLARSHIP ORGANIZATION SOLICITS MONEY FROM PROSPECTIVE APPLICANTS. The whole purpose of a scholarship is to give YOU money–not take in FROM you. Don’t pay a dime beyond a postage stamp to mail in an application–ever.
Some reputable search engines for scholarship services:
…and my favorite, Scholly.
Scholly, via Reach Higher Montana (find the red “Scholly” box on the lower left side of the page–scroll down!) http://www.reachhighermontana.org
Remember, it is the student’s responsibility to submit a completed application. This includes attaching any transcripts, letters of recommendation, or supplemental documents as defined by each scholarship.
Please feel free to contact me at Troy High School at 295-4520 or via e-mail (email@example.com) if you have any questions.