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  Financial Aid for College

How can I pay for college?

The New York Times' The Choice blog reported that more and more students are becoming concerned about defraying the costs of college—not only to complete their bachelors degrees, but also to keep the option of affording a graduate degree viable. On there, Zac Bisonnette, author of Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching Off My Parents remarked:

"Another good reason to start out at an affordable public institution is this: We’ve seen something of a devaluation of the bachelor’s degree in the job market: more than half of college grads under age 25 are working at jobs that don’t require a degree. What that means is that a larger percentage of grads will want or need to attend graduate school to achieve their career goals."

This is why searching for scholarships throughout your own state is important. Especially now, as colleges cut financial aid packages. The Wall Street Journal reported that many colleges have begun dramatically scaling back their financial aid packages.

But this doesn't mean that scholarships have disappeared—for savvy students, it's a matter of being industrious and casting a wide net.

Who can apply for scholarships?

Almost anyone may be eligible for financial aid. Time Magazine reported on a service which charges prospective students a nominal fee to match them up to countless potential financial aid sources—all predicated on data points the students defines, such as but not limited to race, religion, family background and more.

With so many options, it’s important to search for scholarships. It’s also important to search within your state’s database for scholarships. This increases the number of opportunities available to help you pay for college.

What kinds of scholarships are available for me?

Scholarships tend to fall into three categories:

  • Scholarships for academically-talented students. Many scholarships are available for top-performing students who are otherwise not able to pay tuition without financial aid.
  • Scholarships for students pursuing jobs in high-need fields. Many scholarships also help cut the cost of college for students who are planning on working in fields that are constantly understaffed. Nursing scholarships are particularly a great resource for students—with funding available not only on the state, but also the federal and private levels.
  • Scholarships for non-traditional students. Some students raising a family also decide to go back to school and for them, there’s a wealth of opportunity available through state-based scholarships.
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