COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS BASED ON NEED

A need scholarship seems like a fundamentally counterintuitive concept that does not make a whole lot of sense to a thinking person.

The word scholarship implies that something of worth was done to earn the scholarship. Need does not seem like a word that should be associated with scholarship.

Still, this is the go-go twenty first century and if someone needs something—even a scholarship—it is apparently the government’s job to provide it. Hence, the need scholarship.

The first place to go trolling for a need scholarship is the government. You will want to fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This long form will tell you, based on a long series of questions you will answer, whether you qualify for government financial aid.

This aid usually comes in the form of a need scholarship, most commonly called the Pell Grant. This grant, which is going to be reduced by about fifteen percent by government cutbacks, is widely available to students whose families make less than $40,000. It could be one of your aces in the hole if you qualify for a need scholarship.

The FAFSA is going to inform you of your EFC (expected family contribution) as well. Even if you don’t qualify for a need scholarship through the federal or state government there are many other options available to you.

It is worth noting that many states use the FAFSA eligibility standards as well to distribute their state financial aid funds. If you live in one of these states you will very likely qualify for money through the state in addition to your FAFSA award.

You may qualify for a need scholarship based on your ethnicity as well. The most common awards go to African-American and Hispanic students, but if you want a need scholarship there is one out there for you as well if you keep looking.

Women have become a majority on college campuses over the last few years. In fact, fifty eight percent of the student body on most college campuses is made of the fairer sex. They get better grades in spite of having lower SAT scores and they drop out less frequently.

How is this relevant? Women also receive significantly more need scholarship money than their male counterparts. And wouldn’t you know that the main factor leading to higher drop out rates is lack of funds.

By some estimates there are 500,000 qualified high school students who don’t attend college every year because of the lack of financial resources. This is where the need scholarship can come in and fill in some of these gaps.

One question we don’t often ask is would we really be better off with a half million more students on college campuses every year? With federal and state governments already bursting at the seams is it even possible to step up and spend $10,000 to $30,000 a year on 500,000 more students? It clearly is not a viable option financially and in many other ways.

It is time that students stop depending on the need scholarship to get them through college. It may not be here for very much longer. The entitlement mentality is a fading fashion. If you want to go to college figure out how to make it happen. A need scholarship is only one small piece of the puzzle.

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