FAFSA could grant you and your family thousands of dollars.
Groans can be heard throughout the school, echoing down hallways as students rip out their hair. Seniors are applying to colleges and the juniors and sophomores are watching in dread. The days are full of essays, stress, and probably more caffeine than is considered safe.
Everyone knows the spiel. Apply for colleges. Apply to lots of colleges. Do campus tours. Talk to counselors. Write essays.
No one wants to focus on this. We want to have fun! We don’t want to think about school. But, eventually we have to start getting it done. Now, after most of the applications are done, we have to decide what college to go to. A main factor in that is money.
College is expensive! Depending on where you go, you could be paying anywhere from $6,000 to $50,000 or more every single year.
A lot of families don’t have that kind of money, especially if there are multiple kids that want to go to college. To make it easier on students and parents, there are ways to get money from college.
The first are scholarships. These are donations from organizations or universities awarded to certain students who meet the scholarship criteria the best. These are more like competitions. Students will have to compete with each other to receive the award, or at least a part of it.
“Scholarships can be for anybody,” said senior Alyssa Huff.
A lot of the time you have to do some sort of project to get the scholarship. You have to write an essay, or complete a service project/ academic project and write an essay about it. Most of these scholarships can be found on the counselor’s webpage or through Google. However, a lot of scholarships require you to fill out FAFSA.
FAFSA is Free Application For Student Aid. It’s a way for students to get money. You and your parents/guardians fill out forms asking about your tax information. Then, based off of your financial situation, you can receive money from the government.
“It’s not a scholarship, it’s a student grant to help students who really need help getting through school,” Huff said.
It’s not a set amount of money, though. If it’ll be harder to pay for college, you’ll get more money. If you or your parents have enough money, you won’t get any.
“I think it varies depending on the parents’ situation… It could be anywhere from a little bit of money to paying for their whole schooling, that’s my guess anyway,” Huff said.
The best bet is to just apply. The sooner you get it done, the better. Even if you don’t think you qualify, it can’t hurt.
“Try to get your grades up, boost them up,” said senior Zackerson Hotchkiss. “Advisers, counselors, up [at colleges], will probably help you out. Help you with what you need.”
It doesn’t matter if you do qualify or don’t, the more money you can get, the better. Do your best to apply for scholarships. Any money is good money.