College is possible even if you don’t have a college fund or your family isn’t wealthy. Most students qualify for financial aid that can offset the cost. This includes grants, scholarships, work-study, and low-interest loans.
Applying for aid is always a good idea! Even if you think you’ll get a scholarship, nothing is certain. Very few students get athletic scholarships and an academic scholarship may not cover all your expenses. Income is just one consideration for financial aid so all families should apply.
Awards vary according to each college’s costs vs. the family’s financial resources and other factors. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a free service offered by the federal government to prospective and current college students and their families. The information you provide on the FAFSA is used to determine whether you’re eligible for a variety of federal student aid options, including grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study. Many states and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for their own financial aid programs. Find out about the FAFSAat http://www.fafsa.ed.gov or call Mrs. Mielke at 464-8380.
Make sure to check out the scholarship tab on the Riverside website to find many more resources on paying for college.
Seniors and Parents – Do you need help completing your FAFSA for college financial aid? Each year, Riverside High School offers a financial aid night where college financial aid experts are available to assist with your completion of the FAFSA. Students can also sign up in the CTE Center, rm. 211, for assistance in completing this form or by calling 464-8380. Remember, U.S. colleges require this form be completed to provide you with any financial assistance through grants, work study, loans and scholarships.
Ready, Set, Grad is a guide for 6th grade up through graduation including financial aid and scholarship info.
College Bound Scholarship is designed to inspire and encourage Washington middle school students from low-income families to prepare for and pursue post-secondary education. The early commitment of state funding for tuition is intended to alleviate the financial barriers preventing students from considering college as a possibility.
Affordable Colleges Online provides free higher education tools and information for current and future college students and their families. This resource focuses more heavily on the not-for-profit online programs. It is critical that students seek out accredited programs to ensure transferability of credits and financial aid eligibility.
Best Colleges is an online college prep resource providing university rankings, tuition costs and in-depth information including campus amenities.
Education experts at BestColleges.com have published an easy-to-follow guide, Understanding the FAFSA, which includes detailed sections on:
What you need before you get started
A section-by-section guide on completing the FAFSA
Serving Our Country—providing service to our country during or after college is another way to pay for all or part of a college education. Opportunities include:
AmeriCorps, a community-service program that helps students earn grants or repay loans – The AmeriCorps Program provides full-time educational awards in return for work in community service. You can work before, during, or after your post-secondary education, and you can use the funds either to pay current educational expenses or to repay federal student loans. For more information on the availability of these awards, call 1-800-942-2677. The TTY number is 1-800-833-3722. Information is also available at www.americorps.gov.
Military Academies—the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Merchant Marines, and U.S. Navy offer no-cost education in exchange for a commitment to serve for a period of time. For more information on recruitment incentives, visit the U.S. Department of Defense Web site atwww.todaysmilitary.com
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) - Offers scholarships in varying sizes to students interested in serving in the military after college.
Veteran’s Benefits - Your local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs office offers assistance. If you (or your spouse) are a veteran or the dependent of a veteran, veterans’ educational benefits may be available. Information is also available through the Internet at www.gibill.va.gov or call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551).