The image of the poor college student is one that fills the minds of so many people - young and old alike. Ramen noodles for dinner, a friend's couch for the night, and sweats as the universal uniform of the poor college student. No doubt it's a sad story, but one few students have to live through if they know where the money is for tuition.
As a recent college graduate, I've come to learn the who what when where and why of the college financial aid process and boy is it tricky! But take it from me, applying for grants and scholarships is a lot harder in theory than it is in real life.
There really is "free" money out there for college. And yes, this money is available even with a recession. It comes in the form of scholarships and grants. And no, you don't have to pay it back.
Most counselors that you encounter will tell you to apply for scholarships. For those of you unfamiliar with what a scholarship is, it's like a contest with money to pay for college as the prize. Some scholarships are like raffles - send in an entry form and the company sponsoring the scholarship will choose an entry at random and the winner gets the money. These type of scholarships are fairly easy to spot and even easier to enter, but the chances of winning are small. It's alot like winning the lottery. You can certainly send in an entry, I know I have, but don't get your hopes up too high.
What You Get:
How to Get It:
Scholarship listings are available from a number of sources: