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Scholarships-Financial Aid

Scholarship Basics

Merit Scholarships 

Most schools review your application for their initial round of merit scholarships, without a separate scholarship application. For example, ASU’s priority deadline is December 1, and all students applying by that deadline will be considered for a merit award. Each school bases the merit money they award on a combination of Grade Point Average, rigor of curriculum (difficulty of coursework, e.g. honors and/ or AP classes), SAT or ACT scores, class rank and application essays (not all schools require an essay for admission).

Financial Aid Websites


 Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA . Schools use the information from your FAFSA to evaluate your eligibility for financial aid. To file the FAFSA, you will need two pin numbers. Go to PIN. You file the FAFSA in January when you are planning on attending college the following academic year. We recommend that you complete the application by mid-February. (The FAFSA can be filed beginning January 1; you have until June 30 to submit it. ) The application is online, and you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) in one to three days. The SAR is the form that tells you how much student aid you are eligible to receive. You can get assistance filing the FAFSA at College Goal Sunday. Check out to find out when and where College Goal Sunday is this year; there will be several locations (e.g., ASU, MCC etc.) so that you can find a convenient location. You can also get assistance by calling 1-800-433-3243. This application is free; if the site requires payment, you are on the wrong website. You will need you social security number, bank statements, mortgage and investment records, tax returns and W2 forms to complete the FAFSA.

Financial aid can be grants, work/study and low interest loans. Many schools ask that you file the FAFSA in order to be eligible for scholarships. The priority deadline for most financial aid for most schools is between February 15 and March 15, but check with the schools to confirm their due dates.

Go to College Board for a financial aid estimator (select the Pay for College link).  Finaid and Federal Student Aid are also very helpful.

Some private schools require that you file the Profile; the website is Profile Online.

Tuition/Funding and Sources is another great website to visit.

Scholarship Web Links

Scholarship Tips

  • Check the websites out on a regular basis. New scholarships will continue to be posted throughout the school year.
  • Listen to your counselor about how to get a letter of recommendation; when you get a letter from someone, ask them for several generic copies.
  • Don’t give up! Be persistent.
  • Use a calendar to keep track of due dates
  • Use Google to search for scholarships that fit you. For example: "scholarships for children of educators."
  • There are scholarships that do not get awarded because no one applied: work hard and find them!
  • Every dollar counts. You can “stack” many scholarships; it just depends on the scholarship.
  • Once you have applied for a scholarship, you are halfway there on the next application. Keep copies of your applications and essays.
  • You should never have to pay to apply for a scholarship.