Win College Scholarship

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Win College Scholarship

The term ‘”scholarship“‘ is sometimes used to describe any financial aid given to a student that does not have to be repaid. However, more precisely, and universally among college financial aid offices, scholarships and grants are quite different.

A scholarship is given to a student because of a reason: the student has qualified for or won it by academic or athletic ability, or by agreeing to follow a particular career, or has some special ethnic or other characteristic. Scholarships are not given for financial need alone.

With tuition and fees at a four-year private college or university averaging $30,094 a year, many students need help making ends meet. The good news is that scholarship money being handed out by corporations, foundations and other private-sector benefactors is on the rise.

That means families have new places to turn for assistance, even if they don’t qualify based on financial need. It also puts a growing premium on preparing early and researching the options for merit-based aid, which can be awarded on the basis of academic achievement, community service or special skills.

Undergraduates received $21.8 billion in merit aid for the 2011-12 academic year, the most recent term for which figures are available from the U.S. Department of Education, which releases figures every four years.

By contrast, tuition and fees rose 19% on average at private colleges and universities and 34% for in-state students at four-year public colleges over the same period, according to the College Board. In-state tuition and fees average $8,893 a year at four-year public schools.

The biggest source of merit aid remains colleges and universities, which have increased their grants as competition for top applicants and athletes intensifies.

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