Securing financing for your college education is an essential step towards your future. The two most common types of financial aid are merit scholarships and need-based assistance.
We’ve provided checklists with the steps you can take to help your child’s chances of getting into—and being able to afford—the school of his/her choice.
Merit scholarships are based on grades, athletics, or service. You may be competing with a national pool of applicants. One alternative may be to search for scholarships that are local to your city or state. Completing a scholarship search is the best way to begin. Try fastweb.com or scholarships.com.Financial Aid Based on Need
Many students receive need-based financial aid. Completion of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in October of your senior year is essential in this process. You should, however, complete a financial estimator form to determine just how much college will cost you before you get your FAFSA results.
The FAFSA provides numerous video resources to help in filling out the application and answering questions.
Complete a financial aid estimator at one of these sites:
Search for scholarships at any of these sites:
- College Board Opportunity Scholarships - $25 million commitment to encourage more students to take the steps necessary to get into college. This first-of-its-kind national scholarship program lays out six simple steps that all students can take to get into college. Students have the chance to earn scholarships when they: 1) build their college list; 2) practice for the SAT; 3) improve their SAT score; 4) strengthen their college list; 5) fill out the FAFSA; 6) apply to college.
- Fastweb - One of the largest scholarship search tools available. Complete the online profile and Fastweb allows you to search over 1.5 million scholarships.
- Florida Scholarships and Grants - List of State of Florida Grant and Scholarship Programs administered by the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
- Johnson Foundation Scholarship Information - Access information about two scholarships available through the Johnson Scholarship Foundations. One is for children of UPS Employees who live in Florida the other is for students with disabilities who attend one of Florida's 11 public universities.
- Mapping your Future: On this site, you will find information about postsecondary education opportunities, preparing for college, planning for a career, finding and applying to college, and paying for college.
- NAEHCY LeTendre Scholarship - The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth provides scholarship assistance to students who are homeless or have experienced homelessness during their K-12 school attendance, and who have demonstrated average or higher than average achievement. Applicants may be high school seniors, students enrolled in a GED or other alternative education program, or recent graduates/GED recipients.
- National Merit Scholarship Program - The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition for recognition
and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship.
To participate in the National Merit Scholarship Program, a student must:
- Take the PSAT/NMSQT® in the specified year of the high school program and no later than the third year in grades 9 through 12, regardless of grade classification or educational pattern;
- Be enrolled as a high school student, progressing normally toward graduation or completion of high school, and planning to enroll full time in college no later than the fall following completion of high school; and
- Be a citizen of the United States; or be a U.S. lawful permanent resident (or have applied for permanent residence, the application for which has not been denied) and intend to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law. Not yet a U.S. citizen? View documentation required from scholarship candidates who have not yet become U.S. citizens.
National Merit Scholarship Program frequently asked questions.
- Quest Bridge College Prep Scholarships - The College Prep Scholarship awards which give high-achieving, low-income juniors the tools they need to prepare successful applications to top colleges, and help them understand that the generous financial aid at these colleges makes attending affordable–if not free. The awards include full scholarships to college summer programs, invitations to National College Admissions conferences, and more.
- Southern Scholarship Foundation - Southern Scholarship Foundation provides scholarship opportunities for students attending or planning to attend: Florida
State University, Florida A & M University, University of Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, Tallahassee Community College, and Santa Fe College.
SSF provides rent-free scholarship housing for qualified students demonstrating academic achievement (with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA), financial need (as identified on the FAFSA), and good character. With our scholarship, students save $10,000 - $12,000 per year.
The Foundation has 26 scholarship houses throughout the state of Florida.
- The College Board Online
- Florida Resident Scholarships
- College Scholarships
National Scholarship Resources:
According to USA Today, the 10 best sites to search for nationwide scholarships are:
ACCESS College Foundation also lists these sites: