Free Money for College Students? 5 Quick Ideas
Finding free money for college students can really help keep an undergraduate or graduate degree on track. I just read a question by a recent immigrant to the US. The sentiment echoed what I hear frequently.
The question was where do you find free money for college students?
I’ll run through the basics, with a few twists for the international student as well. Use these to help you get through school without student loans.
The First Stop
If you go to college in the US, you’ve heard of the FAFSA, the Pell Grant program, and possible several others, like the SMART scholarship or the Robert C Byrd Scholarship program.
You should always check these out first. Especially after you reach 21, you can get significant help, up to thousands per year.
For international students studying in here, the FAFSA just doesn't work, since it's for citizens of the USA. I’ll have some suggestions for you below.
Check with Your State
All states have programs that provide free money for college students, if you live in the state. In most cases, these programs rely on the FAFSA, but some don’t.
You can find the office of higher education, or just sign up for occasional newsletter and you can download my free ebook on grants in the US for links to every state. Just takes an email address below -
While state programs change more often than federal programs, many students do receive help from their state.
The more you apply for the better, and the more you can win. Be sure to learn what wins the scholarships you apply for, and put your best foot forward by writing a great essay. Scholarships change often. Anyone can give out money as a scholarship, so some will change every year.
Not all scholarships go to students with high grades. Some get awarded for a great project that you describe and execute. Or you can win for an essay alone. And many go to students for talent demonstrated in sports or another area.
And every scholarship or grant you win means less student loans or consolidation loans.
In many cases, you just have to be here legally and be accepted to attend school in the US.
You might want to check with IEFA IEFA , which stands for International Education Financial Aid and specializes in international scholarships for international students.
Another Scholarship Idea
Every one has many affiliations. You live in a specific city, you worked for a company, or your parents work for a specific company. Perhaps your heritage aligns you with a particular group.
You’ll find that all of these can offer scholarships. For example, if you go to Google and put in “Irish chamber of commerce scholarship,” you’ll find that the Manhattan Irish fest offers scholarships.
And if you come from a foreign locale, you can also look for these sources. They'd love to help you get started.
Tuition Assistance or Tuition Reimbursement
Okay, this one requires some real work, but it’s a great way to get free money for college students. Here it is:
Get a job with a company that offers tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance as a work benefit.
I’ve done this (along with most of what I share with you here), and it’s great. You work, you qualify for a certain dollar amount of benefit. I explain this more on my tuition reimbursement page. And as long as you can work in the US, you should qualify for this even if you aren’t a citizen, so it works for international students as well.
That should keep you busy for a little while. And when you need more ideas for how to beat tuition, come on back!