Education beyond high school is not free! Attending a four-year public Alabama college can cost as much as $30,000 a year, if not more. Attending a private four-year college can cost as much as $40,000 a year, if not more. Most of the time, students need scholarships and/or financial aid to attend college.
Where do you begin?
Start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) found at www.fafsa.gov! Even if you feel that your family will not qualify for financial aid, complete the application anyway. You never know! It is our goal for each college-bound student to complete the FAFSA!
Types of Financial Aid Through FAFSA
Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for a grant. Grants are GREAT because they are FREE MONEY. They do not have to be repaid. For more information about grants, visit www.StudentAid.gov/grants.
Work-Study provides students with a part time job on the college campus, and their salary goes toward college expenses. This money does not have to be repaid. For more information about Work-Study, visit www.StudentAid.gov/workstudy.
If you have to borrow money to attend college, always borrow federal first. Federal student loans are cheaper, more available and have better repayment terms than private student loans. For more information about the type of loans that are available, visit www.StudentAid.gov/loans.
And Don't Forget about Scholarships!
Scholarships are awarded because of exceptional academic achievement, outstanding talent or skill, and/or financial aid. Scholarships do not have to be repaid. They are a GIFT! Look below for some ideas of where to find scholarships.
Scholarships from Postsecondary Institutions
Colleges, universities or technical schools are the largest source of scholarships. Most colleges have sizable scholarship funds for students with particular skills and abilities as well as academic excellence. This should be your first stop for financial aid. It is the student's responsibility to secure and implement the application process for scholarships. Researching scholarship opportunities via the Internet can be very rewarding. Generally, a student who wants to be considered for a merit-based scholarship should submit an application for admission by December 1. To be safe, each student seeking scholarships should check with individual institutions for deadlines, scholarship applications and audition/portfolio dates.
These scholarships can come from a variety of sources. Check foundations, town or city clubs, religious organizations, fraternities or sororities. Include community organizations and civic groups such as the American Legion, YMCA, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Chambers of Commerce, Boy Scouts, etc.
Scholarships Available in the Counseling Suite
Scholarship opportunities are often received in the Counseling Suite. Students and parents will be notified of these in several ways:
(1) The senior counselor will distribute the information via a mass distribution email to students and parents.
(2) Scholarships will be posted on the Shades Valley High School website - click here.
(3) All scholarships are copied in placed in the top drawer of the filing cabinet located in the College and Career Center located in the Counseling Suite.