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#CollegeBound: 5 Scholarship Tips

The easiest way to pay for college is to not have to pay for it. Here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of scholarships and grants.*

5 Scholarship Tips | Image source: Shutterstock.com / Photographer: karen roach

1. File the FAFSA ASAP

The federal government requires that most states and schools base scholarships on financial need. The Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) is used to determine this data. Go online to www.fafsa.ed.gov or RSVP to attend the next FAFSA Friday Open House, where you can get free assistance completing your FAFSA.

2. Explore State Funding

Find out more about state scholarships and grants at each state’s website or by contacting your desired school’s financial aid office. Click here for Indiana’s website and click here for Ohio’s website. Since funding is often given on a first come, first serve basis, it's best to apply as early as possible.

3. Research Private Scholarships

Many private scholarships and grants can be applied for separately from of the FAFSA. Explore opportunities at 3Rivers, CareerInfo.net, and Fastweb.

4. Talk to Your School’s Financial Aid Office

Just applying for the FAFSA doesn’t automatically get you all scholarships a college may offer. Set an appointment with a financial aid officer to find out what scholarships you qualifiy for and should be applying for, to inquire about any rules and guidelines, and to get any other advice that will help you obtain financial aid.

5. Contact Each Department Separately

Individual departments within a university may offer scholarships or grants separately from the school’s general financial aid office. Visit with your specific department to ask about these opportunities, qualifications, and deadlines.

With the rising cost of education, it's crucial that students and parents research the total estimated cost of college, develop a college funding game plan, and put funding stress to rest so students can focus on their studies. We can help! Contact our College Funding Advisor today via e-mail at collegebound@trfcu.org or by calling 260-399-8230.

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You might also like: How to Find + Win College Scholarships | How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay | Saving + Making Money as a College Student

*Note: Scholarships and grants are essentially the same thing. Both are types of monetary assitance to help pay for a portion of college costs.
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