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Finding Money for College

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MISSION, Kan., Nov. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — (Family Features) College is a significant investment and millions of families each year face the question of how to pay for it. One way students can position themselves for success is by seeking out various forms of financial assistance.

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Earning scholarships can be one way to offset the financial burden, but winning a scholarship can sometimes be as competitive as gaining admission to the college of your choice. While most scholarships don’t entirely cover college tuition, they can be useful tools to help cover educational expenses such as room and board, tuition and books.

Some scholarships can be earned by meeting or exceeding certain standards, such as academic performance, while other scholarships are based on financial need or personal interests of the applicant. There’s also a wealth of opportunities that support students in specific areas, whether it be from companies, professional organizations or foundations. For example, the America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders program offers industry-specific scholarships each year for those looking to study agriculture-related fields.

While your academic performance, character and extracurricular resume all play a part, knowing where to look for scholarships can make all the difference when it comes time to pay for your education. These tips can help you identify and apply for scholarships that match your interests and credentials.

Complete the FAFSA
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be required to apply for a number of scholarships, particularly scholarships offered by most colleges and universities based on need. It is also required for other forms of financial aid, such as subsidized or unsubsidized loans. While you can begin filling out the FAFSA on Oct. 1 of the year prior to needing aid, many need-based scholarships give priority to students who complete the FAFSA by their state’s application deadline. It is important to note that some colleges and universities have earlier deadlines.

Talk to Your Counselor
Colleges or universities and scholarship providers often supply information about their award offerings and applications to high school counselors. Many institutions also offer specific awards by major for both new and returning students that can be applied for through the school’s financial aid office. These resources, as well as newsletters and bulletin boards outside of these offices, can help

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