Paying for College

dollar money treeIt is important to think about how to pay for college and invest in your future. Your education is the most important investment you can make. Education beyond high school can give you choices that may not otherwise be possible, open doors to better paying jobs and careers, and give you the opportunity to do the things that you enjoy most. By carefully preparing yourself for a career, you are establishing yourself for the future of your choice.

Every dollar you save is a dollar you don't need to borrow and pay back with interest. Save money you earn during the summer to put towards your college costs…it's never too early to start saving for your future! You are probably thinking that the earnings from your summer jobs will never be enough to put you through college, right? That is most likely the case and this is where financial aid comes in. Financial aid programs come in several different forms and they help many students pursue different courses of study:

 

  • Grants and scholarships (also known as "gift" aid). These do not have to be repaid. Scholarships may be based on need or on a student's academic performance or special talents.
  • Work-study (also known as "self-help" aid). Students earn wages that may be applied to the cost of college or be used for personal expenses.
  • Loans (another form of  "self help" aid). Students and/or parents borrow low-interest loans that must be repaid. Loans are sometimes necessary, but should always be a last resort.

You may want to work with your parents to review numbers with budget calculators for additional planning help. Below is a list of useful sites:

College Board's College Financing Calculator
 www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/add-it-up/401.html 

Compare your College Award Letters
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/financial-aid-awards/compare-aid-calculator

Aid for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
http://studentaid.ed.gov/eligibility/intellectual-disabilities

Scholarship Opportunities 

College and postsecondary education opportunities can be costly, however, there are several ways to help pay for it. One of those ways is through scholarships. Scholarship opportunities can be found locally, state-wide or nationally and can vary based on eligibility.

Before you apply for scholarships, identify a school and find out how much it costs by clicking here!

Search Locally...

The Battle Creek Community Foundation is a great place to start - they offer over 270 scholarships to local students. Apply before the annual deadline.

The Kellogg Community College Foundation offers a variety of scholarships for incoming and transfer students.

Students attending the Calhoun Area Career Center can take advantage of several unique scholarship opportunities.


Search Regionally...

The Marshall Community Foundation has a number of opportunities available to Battle Creek area students.

The Kalamazoo Community Foundation offers the Women's Education Coalition Grant for training or
higher education opportunities for low-income women, particularly with children to support.


Search Nationally...

There are many, many websites that students use to search for national scholarship opportunities. Here's a couple we recommend:

FASTWEB - A subsidiary of Monster, this search engine hosts more than 1.5 million scholarships. A profile is required for use.

COLLEGE BOARD - The College Board offers more than just a list of scholarships. You can also prepare for the SAT!

PETERSON'S - Peterson's site boasts $10 billion in scholarship awards and provides other resources as well.

THEDREAM.US - The National Scholarship is an opportunity for highly motivated DREAMers with significant, unmet financial need.

And Beyond...

Best Mattress Reviews - This organization promotes sleep awareness and offers a scholarship to further the cause.

Featured Resources

Legacy Scholars
Michigan CAN
NCAN
KnowHow2Go
Battle Creek Community Foundation
bigfuture
Federal Student Aid
FastWeb