Basics about financial aid, scholarships and grants

Financial aid -Grants are also knows as “free money”, typically you do not have to repay them but you do have to put in work to receive them. What is the difference you may ask?
This  is  often based on merit. It primarily depends on the guidelines of the scholarship. Majority times recipients qualify based on SAT/ACT scores, GPA, location, essay, future goals.
Grants are primarily need based. You have to demonstrate to the committee and answer why you are the one fully qualifies for that particular grant. Grants are different and it takes time and patience but in reward you get free money.
If you are a U.S. citizen, start by filling out FAFSA your senior year in high school. You can apply starting from January 1st but do not delay your application. Here is the link for FAFSA website: complete the FAFSA
Ask your high school guidance counselor for help when applying and read materials available in their office about financial aid – scholarships and grants..
Do not delay application, make sure to have yours or your parents (if you are a dependent) tax returns ready, because you will required to enter information. Keep in mind that tax doesn’t have to be paid at the moment when you apply but has to be prepared and filed.
You grants can come from your parents’ employers, community and church organizations, colleges and universities that you are applying to and federal and state governments.
Start educating yourself about the process from freshman year, involve people around you and make them understand that you are serious about your education. Organize fundraising events and ask for donations from local business. Get creative. This is your future that you are building.

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