Trying to finance a college education can be a pretty daunting task these days. Somehow the college fund that we all should have started when our kids were three years old got spent during a period of unemployment before that child got out of grade school. Or even if those contributions got made we just did not believe the expenses would rise the way they have, and the college savings fund is, well, underfunded. Right now, when you add in tuition, fees, room, board, books and other expenses for a public 4 year university, and that is with resident tuition rates, it is easy to look at a bill that pushes $20,000 a year! Multiply that $20K by 4 years, and you can see that a student, and his or her family, needs to come up with about $80,000! A private school will cost even more, and many start at $30,000 a year, or even more! Now consider that most families do not just have one child, but must help multiple kids get through school.
Many families, or students, need to take out loans. These loans, usually, do not have to be paid back until the graduate has been out of school for 6 to 9 months, and so they do give a person a chance to get established in a new job. However, some come with hefty interest rates and leave the recent graduate with a large burden of debt.
However, we do have some good news. Two thirds of students in 4 year colleges do get some sort of financial aid. This aid can come in the form of grants, scholarships, and work study programs. In other words, this type of financial aid does not have to be paid back. We believe that many people do not know how to access this financial aid, and that many college students do not get as much money as they may be entitled to.
Finding college scholarships and grants can be even tougher for older students who wish to return to school many years after graduating high school. They do not have the resources of their high school counselor. Many high school graduates started a job, always planning to start or complete a college degree. Some college graduates want to work for awhile before returning for graduate school. And do not forget other college graduates who simply want to educate themselves for a profession change because they do not find their initial job choice satisfying.
The internet makes it much easier to search for college scholarships. Of course, you can just go to one of the major search engines and look for information on scholarships and grants. But we all know how many search results that come up, and how long it can take to search through many websites to find information that is really useful. However, we have more good news! We have found free online scholarship search websites that can help you find and compare thousands of scholarships, grants, work study programs, and internships! In fact, even high schools and colleges endorse these services because, of course, they really do want you to find the money for college!