Financial Aid and Scholarships
College is a big investment and parents clearly need a financial plan that begins as early as possible. Financial assistance for college is either need-based or merit-based. Financial aid, which involves outright grants, loans, and work-study, is based on your family's ability to pay the cost of education, which includes tuition, room, board and fees. In order to determine the amount you can afford, a college requires that your family complete and submit forms that document your financial circumstances. You must fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be eligible for federal assistance. Many colleges require additional forms, too. Be sure to contact the financial aid offices at the colleges you apply to so that you find our what you will be required to submit.
For those who qualify, most colleges will offer a financial aid package consisting of grants, loans, and work-study in order to bridge the gap between the estimated family contribution and the cost of tuition and other expenses. The amount of your financial aid package may vary from college to college. Sometimes private colleges can offer enough aid to be competitive with less expensive schools.
Click CSS/Profile under "Pay for College" on the student's home page to register for the PROFILE.
FAFSA online, basis for all federal financial aid.
Financial Aid Information
Excellent site for answering questions about financial aid
Merit and need based
Scholarship Search Engine
Also try http://www.fastweb.com
Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Programs and TSAC
The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid
Ultimate FAFSA Resource Guide
US Government funds for college
Merit scholarships differ from financial aid in that they are not based on a family's ability to pay. These awards are given in recognition of outstanding achievement in academics, the arts, athletics, leadership, community service and other areas. Generally the college admission and financial aid officers are the ones that determine which students will be offered scholarship awards. Some awards require the student to submit a scholarship application and could require the student to come to campus for an interview.
Students are encouraged to explore other scholarship opportunities as well. National Merit Scholarships are awarded on the basis of the PSAT taken during the junior year. Companies often provide scholarships for their employee's children while local foundations, religious organizations, and other community groups sometimes have money to help students finance college. Private scholarships are usually based on applications with specific deadlines and they frequently require essays. It is imperative that students adhere to these deadlines in order to be considered. Scholarship information, which is sent to MHS, is published in the College/Scholarship newsletter.
The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program offers the Hope Scholarship ($4,000 for 4-year school and $2,000 for 2-year school), the General Assembly Merit Scholarship ($1,000 supplement), the Aspire Award ($1,500 supplement), and the Hope Access Grant ($2750 for 4-year school and $1,750 for 2-year school) to qualified students. Parents and students who want to know more about the HOPE Scholarships and the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Programs can now call a toll-free hotline. Scholarship specialists are available to answer questions about eligibility and the application process. The phone number for the HOPE Hotline is (615) 741-1346 or (800) 342-1663 .
For the Hope and other scholarships, one must supply with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible after January 1 of a student's senior year. You will need your Social Security Number, driver's license, income tax return, bank statements and investment records before filling out the form. Each year Maryville College hosts a financial workshop for parents in December.
The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is a College Board program that many schools and Scholarship programs use to gather information to help them award institutional funds