Scholarships and Financial Aid
(Free Applications for Student Aid)
Federal and state aid is issued via the FAFSA. FAFSA applications should ALWAYS be free. FAFSA4caster lets students forecast their potential federal aid before applying
Additional FAFSA-related links to review prior to completing the FAFSA:
Used by some private colleges for awarding both financial and merit-based aid. There is a fee for this service, and is mandatory at certain colleges. Use this link to look up your colleges to see if the CSS Profile is a required step for you
Net Price Calculator Lookup
Students can directly link to any college's (in the USA) Net Price Calculator or Financial Aid website.
The Washington Student Achievement Council offers information on college costs, explanations of state financial aid options, and tips for completing FAFSA forms.
Government website offering information on all forms of aid, includes tips on FAFSA completion
Wiche.edu/wue (Western Undergraduate Exchange)
A consortium of Western-US colleges that offer reduced-tuition rates at some state colleges.
Resources and info for finding & comparing private student loans
Private website with helpful info & explanations of all things related to financial aid and scholarships. Lots of commercial ads on the website. Very comprehensive scholarship database, frequently updated.
Provides students, families and education professionals with information on financial aid, scholarships, and general college information
COLLEGE AWARDED SCHOLARSHIPS
Where to look:
- College-specific scholarship opportunities are spelled out in the financial aid/scholarship tab of a college's website.
- Some are automatic based on your admission application while some may require a separate application, always check!
- Review requirements and deadlines
- Ask if they are renewable?
- Ask what happens if you are awarded an outside scholarship. Some schools decrease institutional grants by the amount of any outside scholarships.
Types of College-Awarded Scholarships
- Often based on academics (GPA and test scores).
- In addition to academics, talent, skill, athletic ability and geographic diversity may attract merit money.
- Departmental scholarships (usually selected by a professor) are occasionally available to incoming freshman but most are reserved for returning students, especially in the sciences.
- Need-based institutional scholarships are often called “grants”
- Funds awarded based on the family’s financial profile and may require a GPA and test scores.
Where to look:
- Washboard www.theWashBoard.org
- National Scholarship databases
- Avoid scams! Do not ever pay to apply for a scholarship!
Review the scholarship details
- Purpose? Making your case starts with understanding the scholarship’s mission.
- Eligibility? Take note of any financial need, GPA, etc. thresholds.
- Requirements? Review exactly what needs to be submitted.
- Due date? When is it due and how will your application be submitted?
Gather documents for submission
- Letters of Recommendation? Expect to need two. Pick teachers, counselors, or coaches who know you well. Give recommenders plenty of time and say THANK YOU!
- Transcript? Request transcripts from the Registrar in the main office
- List of your activities? Describe and think “impact”
- Essay? See our tips below!
- Financial information? Some need-based scholarships require.
Perfect your essay
- Understand the scholarship’s mission and audience
- Pick a topic where you shine
- Be authentic, gracious and proud
- Show, not tell. Avoid regurgitating accomplishments.
- Always have someone look at it. Does this sound like you?
- Re-imagine essay material from college applications but do not copy!
Stay on top of your search
- At a certain point, it’s time to stop thinking and start writing. Progress, even in small doses, can be inspiring!
- Create a timeline or calendar to keep yourself moving.
- Target your best odds scholarships first
- Set aside time each week. Success = working a little at a time
Find Local Scholarships Posted on Xello
Navigate to your Xello Dashboard
Find the College Planning section.
Within the college planning section, you will see a list of local scholarships.
How To Access Your Student Xello Account: (This is the only way to access Xello-you don’t have a username/password)
- Click this link to the LWSD apps webpage
- Scroll down and click the button that says “Xello” and you’re in!
- WashBoard.org – Washington non-profit that connects Washington students of all types with Washington scholarship providers
http://Fastaid.com/– commercial scholarship database
https://www.salliemae.com/college-planning/- interactive tools that enable you to analyze the affordability of schools, compare financial aid award letters, and search for scholarships
Big Future College Board website to help find scholarships, other financial aid and internships
- gocollege.com - commercial scholarship database
Collegenet.com - commercial scholarship database
Scholarships.com - commercial scholarship database
Fastweb.com – scholarship matching service
gmsp.org – the Gates Millennium Scholars scholarship program offered to 1,000 students each year
waopportunityscholarship.org – the State-funded Washington State Opportunity Scholarship helps low- and middle-income Washington state residents pursuing STEM degrees.
careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships.aspx - US Gov department of Labor (On the left; filter by Level of Study: High School)
Athletic Aid: Sport scholarships, aid and college search resources for student athletes
http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/scholarships: Office web site of the NCAA
Merit Aid: Comprehensive directory of merit-based scholarships.
UNCF: Awards scholarships to students attending a UNCF member institution as well as those attending a historically black colleges and majority institutions.
College Success Foundation: The College Success Foundation provides scholarships and mentoring to low-income, high potential students in Washington state. CSF currently oversees five local scholarship programs.
Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education: Provides information on Western Undergraduate Exchange program also known as the "WUE". The program allows qualified students to enroll at reduced rates. The site lists all states and colleges participating in the program. Specific qualifications at each college are include.