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January 24, 2013
Whether you choose to enroll in a 2-year college like Piedmont Technical College or a 4-year university, a college education can be expensive. The last thing you want once you’ve earned that all-important degree is to begin a new career under a mountain of debt from student loans and credit cards.
So, how do you pay for that college education? There are plenty of financial aid resources available to you, including the Pell Grant, Lottery Tuition Assistance and more. On top of those great sources of aid, you can also apply for scholarships.
Many students and potential students assume they don’t qualify for scholarships because they didn’t have a perfect GPA in high school. That’s simply not the case. Millions of dollars in scholarship funds are available each year – scholarships for regular students with regular accomplishments.
Finding scholarship dollars is easy if you know where to look.
The best place to start looking for scholarships is at the college or university you plan to attend. Piedmont Tech offers more than 65 scholarships and most colleges have a similar pool available to their students. Selection of the recipients is based on variety of criteria from GPA or club membership to hometown or student’s major.
Your college’s website or financial aid office can give you more information on what scholarships you may qualify for and deadlines to apply.
The mission of most civic organizations is to provide service to the community. And for many, that includes providing scholarships for students. Rotary clubs, Kiwanis clubs and local Chambers of Commerce are great places to start. Many require an essay or community service to qualify, but those rewards could be even greater than the financial assistance you may receive.
When in doubt, Google it! In this age of technology, there are dozens of sites that compile lists of scholarships available. You can search the web for scholarships not only provided by local groups, but national organizations and major corporations.
A word to the wise about scholarship searchers: Beware of any website charging a fee for their services — it’s more than likely a scam. There are plenty of free scholarship databases out there that make your search for financial assistance as easy as a couple of clicks. Here are a few to get you started:
Paying for college shouldn’t keep you from attending college. There are lots of options to help you gain that degree without breaking the bank. You just have to know where to look.