It’s that time of year again, time to start looking for money to pay for the next school year. Financial aid comes in many forms, from the obvious choices such as loans that have to be paid back to those that do not have to be paid back such as grants and scholarships. While most students are aware of the college scholarship process, many are not aware that many schools offer guaranteed college scholarships.
The scholarships that most students think of when they think of college scholarships are those that generally require that you not only meet certain criteria, but that you also go through a lengthy application process which might include an essay, portfolio or some other competition in order to receive the scholarship. The process can be quite daunting, but worth the effort if you are able to get a significant amount of free money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back. However, most students are not aware that many schools give out guaranteed college scholarships without having to file an application or compete for the scholarship.
Guaranteed college scholarships are simply that, they are guaranteed as long as you apply to the university or college, get accepted and enroll. There is no application process except including all the necessary information when you apply to the college. The criteria for receiving a guaranteed college scholarship is usually by association to a specific group, minority status or scholarship status including your GPA, SAT or ACT scores and high school standing. In many cases the guaranteed scholarships are renewable if you adhere to the criteria for renewal such as a minimum GPA. Also, even if you are eligible for more than one guaranteed scholarship at a given school, you will most likely only be given the highest amount you are eligible to receive. Check with the financial aid office of your schools of choice to see if they offer guaranteed scholarships.
In addition to applying to your colleges or universities of choice, remember to apply for financial aid even if you don’t think you might be eligible for financial aid. This is generally a requirement for most schools in order to get aid of any type.