There are many misconceptions about the value and affordability of an education. You are more likely to be better off in life attaining an education after high school. College helps prepare you with real world skills; communicating ideas, speaking in front of people, adequate preparation skills, and thinking creatively, all of which are skills that are vital in our current economy.
People also believe that they cannot afford a college education, however, Open Access is here to help you find scholarships and aid to cover your college going needs. There are ways to get scholarships specifically for you as an: AB540 student, Native American Student, Minority Student, and much more!
Every student should apply for the FAFSA, or Federal Application for Free Student Aid. The federal government gives over $150 billion dollars in scholarships and grants every year. Most schools WANT you to apply for federal aid! Application for the FAFSA opens January 1st of each year. Go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to apply.
Federal- Pell Grants are awarded by the federal government. It is a grant that does not have to be paid back, awarded based on need, cost of attendance, full time or part time status, and is awarded up to $5,500 a year. Click Here to find out more!
State- Cal Grants are grants specifically awarded to Californian students by the government of the state of California, who meet the eligibility requirements. Go to http://www.calgrants.org/index.cfm?navId=10 to find out more about the Cal Grant Programs.
The BOG Fee Waiver, or the Board of Governors Fee Waiver, is a fee waiver offered by Californian Community Colleges. The only requirements for this fee waiver are that you are enrolled in at least 1 unit and that you are a California resident.
The Federal Work Study program is designed for students to have the opportunity to work to finance some of the cost of attendance in college. Over 3,000 institutions participate in this program. Students can work on campus, at non-profit or for-profit companies, and for the local or federal government. Students who complete the FAFSA will be informed if they qualify for this program. To find out more about this program, click here.
There are many different types of loans for education. Sometimes the college that you decide to go to will offer you a loan. Sometimes, the Federal Government will offer you a loan. There are two types of loans that the Federal Government will offer. Subsidized and Unsubsidized. I know you’re asking, “What does that mean?”
- Subsidized – Subsidized loans are awarded on the basis of financial need. You won’t be charged any interest before you begin repaying the loan because the federal government subsidizes the interest during this time.
- Unsubsidized -Unsubsidized loans charge interest from the time the money is first disbursed until it is paid in full. The interest is capitalized, meaning that you pay interest on any interest that has already accrued. One way to minimize how much interest accrues is to pay the interest as it accumulates.
Financial Aid Checklist
The US Department of Education has created a checklist to keep students on a college bound track.
Seniors -12th grade is the time to apply for admission to college and then to apply for federal student aid by filling out the FAFSA.
Juniors – For both students and parents, it’s crucial to stay on top of college preparation during the 11th-grade year and the following summer.
ZINCH – Find information on admissions to college as well as scholarships that are specifically matched to you! With everything from a blog focusing on what every college-bound student should know, to free give-aways, Zinch is the one stop shop for finding scholarships!
CAPPEX – Cappex is the Ultimate Scholarship Matching Tool where you get your matches from thousands of scholarships offered by top companies and organizations. Working with MeritAid.com, Cappex has details for over $11 Billion in Merit Scholarships offered by colleges around the country.