Need-based Financial Aid
Nearly all Troy students attending some form of post-secondary education (junior or community colleges, 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/
You and one parent will need a Federal Student Aid ID to complete the FAFSA. Here’s the link to obtain the FSA ID: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm
Colleges have important financial aid deadlines. Don’t miss them. Most regional colleges want you to complete 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 not receive as much financial aid when they miss the FAFSA filing deadline.
Some thoughts on scholarship strategies
Most scholarship dollars (estimated at over 90 percent) will likely come from the college that accepts you for admission. 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. Then, 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:
- https://portal.mtcis.intocareers.org/ (username: troyhighschool password: plan7ing)
Don’t lie, cheat, or steal.
College is expensive. Competition for scholarships means there are no guarantees. The temptation for parents or other well-meaning adults to complete a student’s scholarship on their behalf is real.
In a word, don’t.
It is the student’s responsibility to submit a completed application. It is perfectly acceptable to have an adult proof-read an application or any essays that may be required. However, it is the student’s responsibility to submit their own work. This includes attaching any transcripts, letters of recommendation, or supplemental documents as defined by each scholarship. Incomplete applications, or applications determined to not be the student’s own work, are routinely disqualified.
Please feel free to contact me at Troy High School at 295-4520 or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.