the most compelling question remains of the expenses. Not only tuition fees but the cost of living adds up to a hefty amount. This is why students prefer receiving a scholarship or financial aid before heading to college. But what exactly are the differences between the two? Let’s find out:
A scholarship is a financial award granted to students based on their merit and performance. This includes their achievements in academics and extra-curricular activities like sports, debating, and music. Students may also be granted scholarships if they belong to certain ancestral backgrounds or communities.
Although financial aid also grants money, instead of being merit-based it’s need-based. It depends on the financial income and expenses of the student’s family. Financial aid is more inclusive as it cannot only cover tuition fees but also books and supplies, transportation and living costs.
To qualify for both scholarship and financial aid, students should be graduates of accredited schools and institutions. Some colleges offer scholarships depending on the student’s nationality. However, international students may be eligible to get them too on certain amounts. On the other hand, financial aid is usually provided to the residents of the respective countries. Therefore, it is important to conduct appropriate research on the colleges before applying.
In addition, students are required to meet certain prerequisites to receive financial help. For example, colleges set benchmarks for GPA, athletic capabilities, and awards in extra-curricular, etc. to receive the scholarship. In contrast, only families with income and expenses in a certain range can apply for financial aid. Of course, if you are seeking to apply for it, you’ll have to provide evidence regarding your financial background.
Sources of Funds
Scholarships are available through a number of sources. The forefront sources for the funds are colleges directly. However, others may include religious groups, community organizations, companies supporting academics and college alumni. On the other hand, federal or state governments provide financial aids to the colleges first. These are then distributed to the deserving students.
Again, it will come down to your research on the financial aids and scholarships available in your preferred colleges. For example, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that students in the United States submit to apply for federal and state financial aid. Most colleges also require personal statements before applying. In case you are finding it difficult to write essays for financial aid and scholarship, you can take assistance from online writers and services that provide essay and assignment help.
Maintenance of the Aid
If you manage to get an adequate scholarship or financial aid, nothing is better than that! Nevertheless, regardless of how exciting it is to get help with college finances, it is equally important to maintain them. The major benefit of scholarship and financial aid is that you don’t have to repay them, as compared to student loans.
However, students on scholarships are required to maintain their GPA or take part in certain extra-curricular activities like playing sports to continue their funding. Scholarships are provided at the start of the college for the rest of the 4 years. In contrast, you will be expected to apply for financial aids every year or session to go through the inspection of your academic record and financial conditions.
So are you ready to deal with your college finances now? It will all come down to how well you collect information on your dream colleges and the financial help they provide. If you have a great SAT score and GPA in high school, it will best to apply for scholarships. However, if your finances are not enough to support your education, make sure to fill all the valid aid forms before the deadlines. Time is crucial to grab these scholarships and aids. Good luck!