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Getting a College Education: Scholarship Financial Grant or Financial Aid?

How much is the cost for a college education these days?

Is there an available financing scheme that fits into your needs and plans?

We have to face one reality of going to college.

College education is expensive!

Many parents do a class-A double take when their children are preparing for and looking forward to attending a community college or a state university.

They know there are a lot of things which comprise the cost of college education and the tuition fee is just a part of the big picture of getting into college. Other everyday expenditures include food, transportation, housing, pocket money, and other miscellaneous fees which when added up can create a significant portion of the cost of financing a college education.

It is so expensive that a lot of families in this day and age, even those who belong to what some might considere the upper-class of society, think about applying for financial aid. For most people, financial assistance such as college grants and scholarships are the most plausible means of paying for a college education.

Grant and scholarship programs do not require students or the family to pay back the funds received. These sources of money for college could be of two kinds.

  1. The ones based on need: This is given due to the financial inability of the student and the family as a whole, and

  2. The ones based on merit: This is given due to the talent of the student in an area such as sports or music.
The student's academic ability also falls under the merit-base college grant and scholarship.

Many times, college grants and scholarships may combine the "merit" and "need" criteria to balance the whole financial aid process. A great many students and their families are on the lookout for this type of financial aid. However, college grants and scholarships are somewhat limited compared with the growing number of students seeking them year after year.

Qualifying students can still avail themselves of federal scholarships, and a number of state scholarship programs exist as well. Some of which are the following:

1. Federal or National Pell Grants - this is a program funded nationwide intended to endow assistance to any qualified undergraduate learner pursuing postsecondary schooling. Grants and scholarships of this kind are given to those who have not finished a baccalaureate degree.

The worth of the grant can vary year after year and will depend largely on the financial need of the students, the expenses that will be incurred while attending the chosen university or college, and the availability of funds from the national government.

This type of grant will open opportunity for the students to avail succeeding financial aid from the national government.

2 Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) - this is a program for ongoing undergraduate students with outstanding monetary need. However, not all students can avail this type of grant. This will depend on the eligibility of the students and availability of finances of the concerned school.

Another form of financial aid that students and families can turn to is the student loan. Unfortunately, this type of financial assistance will have to be paid back. The financial needs of the family should be taken into consideration in order to avoid paying high interest rates or simply being saddled with a loan payment for many years after graduation.

It is also a must to understand all the terms of the lending agencies such as the schedule of repayment and interest rates, before signing in or making a commitment.

Work study is another form of financial assistance which calls for students to do labor to sustain their college education. Work study is commonly done on campus and is the most typical form of financial aid in all universities and colleges. Usually, the students will render service to schools for ten to fifteen hours per week or participate in some similar program.

Scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid used in order to acquire a college education is really multifaceted, very confusing at times, and even exasperating. The good thing is college education is a non-refundable and non-biodegradable type of investment. It is for the future...our future!

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Page Updated 7:59 AM Friday 6/8/2012