Financial Aid

Chances are, if you are going to obtain any form of a college education, you will need financial aid. Here are three ways to get money:

Scholarships. Although there are a huge number of them out there, it often seems like an impossible task to those applying to get just one.

“I think one thing that students need to understand is that trying to obtain scholarships is like having a full-time job,” counselor Angelo Giacalone said. “There are a lot of scholarships and a lot of things that you can do.”

Scholarships are offered by many different sources with many different application processes. Three ways they are offered are through external sources, like business or private foundations, or internal sources, like the college you attend.

Businesses (external)

  • CocaCola Scholarship: Can award from $10,000-20,000 and awards based on character, personal merit, ethnic and economic background and a plan to get a degree from college.
  • Wells Fargo CollegeSTEPS Scholarships:  Awards $1,000 eight times a year based on a random drawing of students who have applied.

Private corporations/foundations (external)

  • Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarships: Various students of Polish descent or those who are planning to study Polish in college can be awarded from $1,000 to $7,000.
  • Working Ranch Cowboys Foundation: Offered to sons, daughters or spouses of working ranch cowboys with a 3.0 GPA.
  • Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest: Students who compete in the World’s Championship Duck Calling (Nov. every year) can be awarded from $200-1,500.

Through colleges (internal)

  • K-State Civic Leadership Scholarships: Given to students with a record of exemplary community service that have been accepted to K-State for the fall of 2011.
  • George C. Brooks Scholarship: To qualify, the applicant must be a graduating senior from an ethnic group that has been underrepresented in higher education; must also be going to the University of Missouri and have a minimum ACT score of 25 or a minimum SAT score of 1130.

For a complete listing of these and more, visit the counseling website under “Scholarships” for an updated weekly list of available scholarships.

Besides scholarships, there are other ways to get money for college:

Grant: A grant is like a scholarship, but instead of being merit-based, it’s need-based. Grants often come with stipulations, like you must be involved in certain activities or maintain a certain GPA.
Loan: A loan is money given to students on a need-base, to attend school, but it must be paid off later, with varying interest rates.
Work-study: Students are given money to attend school, while working a job on campus to earn the money.

One way to go about getting this aid is through FAFSA. If you plan on applying for any federal or state student grants, work-study, or loans, this application needs to be filled out. FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) is available January 1 of every graduating year. Upon filling out the form, you will be informed of what financial aid you are able to received. Go to to complete the application process.

Loans: I know the word seems scary at first, but loans aren’t as bad as you think. Below are the different types of loans you can receive along with information on how to pay them off.
Need-Based—Loans that are only given to students whose families have financial need. In order to get need based loans, you need to fill out the FAFSA form which will inform you of what loans, scholarships, and grants you are eligible for. Need based loans typically have lower interest rates, you won’t have to make payments until after you leave school, and they are subsidized (government pays for loan while you are in school and for up to six months after graduation). EX: Federal Perkins Loans, Federal subsidized Stafford Loans.
Private—Offered mostly by banks and financial institution but also by some colleges, universities and private foundations. EX: Private (alternative) and state education loans.
Federal—Less expensive than private/state loans. EX: Federal unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal parent PLUS Loans.

Paying off Loans
Standard Repayment—Making equal monthly payments over a 10-year period.
Extended Repayment—Borrow can extend the repayment period up to 25 years. (This is based on the amount of debt and the lender involved).
Graduated Repayment— Payments gradually increase over time.
Income-contingent Repayment—This ties the repayment amount to income and generally extends the payment period.

Terms and Tips for Loans
DO take into account the fees involved with education loans.
DO talk to the financial aid office of the school you want to attend to find out more and to figure out what you can afford.
DON’T keep any extra money the school sends you; send it back.
DON’T put off making payments.

Loan consolidation: Combining all your loans into one monthly payment. You’ll have more time to pay off the debt, but the cost will end up higher per payment.
Deferment: A period where payments do not need to be made.
Forbearance: To temporarily stop payments due to a financial crisis.
Cancellation: When the borrower’s debt is excused without having to pay it.

For help on understanding your student loan payments in relation to your starting salary, go to

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Financial Aid