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If you’re living in a large city, you’ll most likely have the choice between a private or public college/university. As a rule, we recommend attending public colleges/universities, as the opportunity for scholarships, grants and financial aide is usually greater and the cost of tuition significantly lower. In many cases, the academic level of public schools is also equal or better than that afforded through private institutions. Of course, you can apply for financial aid, which will enable you to take out a loan and attend the school of your choice, but you WILL be required to repay that loan upon graduation and there are dire consequences for those who don’t, such as a bad credit rating, ineligibility for future government assistance, and costly collection fines/penalties.
Unless you are independently wealthy, living with a host/foster family or have secured a scholarship that provides a generous living allowance, we suggest that you attend school on a part time basis for the first semester. This allows you the opportunity of testing the waters to see if you can balance the demands of school along with that of your job without sacrificing your GPA (Grade Point Average).
After determining whether or not you qualify to attend a particular college/university, make an appointment with a financial aide officer from that college/university to inquire about available scholarships, grants or financial assistance. Ask him/her if they have a list of available grants and scholarships listed on their web site. Ask them for the link to that website. If your unfamiliar with computers, ask them to help you with logging in to their website and in creating a password, etc. Always use a password that you’ll remember! (NEVER share your password with anyone else!) Take a pen and paper with you so that you can take notes.
Almost all colleges and universities require that you fill out a FASFA application on a yearly basis. FASFA stands for Federal Application for Financial Student Aid. This application assists colleges and universities in determining your eligibility for financial aide. You will most likely be asked to complete this step before inquiring on available grants/scholarships from all colleges and universities.
Note: You will be required to register at this site before beginning your search and you will be asked numerous questions in order to narrow your search needs. Please take the time to answer these questions to the best of your ability as it will help in searching for scholarships suited specifically to your needs and will save you the time and aggravation of searching through grants/scholarships that do not pertain to you or suit your individual needs.
You can also find available scholarships and grants in your area through internet search engines. We recommend using Google.
Suggested searches include:
Many colleges require letters of recommendation from at least two people of more before accepting you into their institution. Make sure that the individuals that you ask to write these recommendation letters are someone who knows you well and can write about you in a personal, detailed and easy to understand method. Respected and prominent members of your community are always a good choice, such as teachers, pastors, politicians etc.
Many colleges and organizations that provide grants and scholarships, require that you write an essay. They will often assign the topic for the required essay, or in many cases, they will give you the option of choosing your own topic.
Note: Be sure to adhere to all specifications regarding the amount of words allowed/required, margin settings, pages etc.
There are simple steps that will better insure an effective and compelling essay:
Be sure to thank those who spent their time and effort to help you to achieve your dreams
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