College Student Blog

Talking to your high school guidance counselor or your college’s aid office is a good way to learn what you need to know about financial aid. There are a number of websites online that can also provide valuable information and resources. Here are 15 free financial aid resources for college students to explore.

Student Aid on the Web – Student Aid on the Web is the official website of Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education. The site provides comprehensive information on federal aid and tools to help students apply for aid.

USA.gov – This government website provides information on government benefits, including grants, loans, and financial aid, to citizens, government employees, businesses, and U.S. visitors.

FinAid – Created by one of the nation’s leading financial aid experts, FinAid provides free, unbiased information on financial aid. Useful site features include articles, calculators, personalized financial aid assistance, and a scholarship search engine.

CollegeBoard – This not-for-profit membership association offers frequently updated information on college costs and financial aid. Students can also use the site to search for college scholarships.

U.S. News and World Report – The U.S. News and World Report site provides a special section for students and parents who need help paying for college. The section offers a wide range of articles on everything from financial aid to college savings plans.

The Princeton Review – The Princeton Review offers a financial aid library for students who want to learn more about paying for education. The library includes articles on scholarships, grants, loans, and the FAFSA form.

Financial Aid Need Estimator – This free web app from ACT helps students estimate the basic costs of attendance at specific institutions as well as the amount their families will be expected to contribute toward the cost of college.

EFC Calculator – Peterson’s EFC Calculator works well for students who want to estimate their Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Student Loan Calculator – Mapping Your Future provides this loan calculator for students who want to estimate future federal student loan payments.

FastWeb – FastWeb is an excellent source of financial aid information. The site posts advice, videos, and other helpful tools. Students can also use the FastWeb search engine to find college scholarships.

Scholarships.com – Scholarships.com is one of the largest free scholarship and financial aid resources on the web. Students who create a personal profile on the site can be notified of scholarships and other aid resources specifically tailored to their needs.

Scholarship Experts – This award-winning scholarship service offers a searchable database of scholarships worth more than $14 billion. The database is updated frequently and can be used to locate awards that match students’ academic background and interests.

NextStudent – NextStudent’s scholarship database contains more than 6 million scholarships valued at over $16 billion. The database is searchable and can be accessed for free online.

International Student – Created specifically for international and study abroad students, this site provides international financial aid resources and a scholarship search engine.

GreenNote – GreenNote makes it easy for students to get money for college in a unique way. Students can use the site to request loans from friends, family and other individuals in their social network.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes online degree reviews for OnlineDegreePrograms.org.

30 Dec, 2009

4 Ways to Get Free Money for College

Posted by: Parker In: College Costs

This is a guest post written by Elizabeth Cutten, a writer for FindCollegeCards, a student blog with more than 800+ unique articles focusing on just about anything college!

College isn’t cheap, and if you’re going to college for the first time, you’re going to almost pass out when you see your first bill.  It doesn’t matter if you’re going to a community college, or a university, it’s going to take a long time to pay off those tuition bills in the future.  Thankfully, there are ways to get money toward your tuition, no matter who you are.

Today, I wanted to show you how you can find money for college, so that you don’t have to go out, and work for it.

Scholarships: Scholarships are a great way to fund your college.  There are a million of them out there, and all it takes is a little research.  No matter who you are, or what you did in High School, I can almost assure you that you can find a scholarship.  As long as you treat the scholarship search like a job, you can find one.  Even if it’s $50, you can feel great at the end of your hunt, because that is $50 less that you have to pay toward your bills.

Grants: You’ve probably seen the commercials, or Internet ads, but there are a lot of government grants out there that can help you pay for college, if you can’t afford it.  Search for government grants, and see if you can qualify.  You can do what I did, and just apply to see what happens.  Remember, the worst thing that will happen is that they will just deny you, or say, “no”.

Financial aid: Financial aid is probably the most popular one.  If you’re having a hard time paying your tuition, you can get financial aid that will help you pay for your college bills.  Again, even if you don’t think you can qualify for it, it doesn’t hurt to apply.  You’ll just find out that you’ll get denied, or better yet, they may refer you to another solution.

Work with the college: Not all colleges have this, but there are some out there that will actually allow you to work for them.  In return, they will knock some money off your tuition.  You can do things such as cafeteria work, janitorial work and more.  This is a great way to build great work ethic, and it looks great on your resume as well!

If you can treat these like a job, you’re going to find that the harder you work toward finding money for college, the less you’re going to have to pay in the long haul.  Try some of these tips above, apply, and see if you can get approved!