Making the decision to go to college is a huge one, but now you have to figure out how to pay for it. With the US Department of Education reporting tuition and room and board costs on the rise over the last 10 years as much as 32%, it is more important than ever to be careful as you explore all your options for paying for college. There are numerous scholarships in RI that can help students cover at least part of their education.
In order to access these scholarship programs, you first need to know where to look. Here are some ideas as to where to find possible scholarships in RI:
- Your current high school. If you are still in high school the staff at your school are great resources for scholarship information. Most schools have a "Career Center" or guidance office where all the scholarship materials are gathered and made accessible to students. Check in often and ask lots of questions as the staff there often know about scholarships that go beyond the standard national programs.
- Your future college. Many schools offer students a full range of scholarships, and your first step in finding these scholarships is to contact the office of financial aid and also whatever department or school within the university you will be focusing on. For example, if you are majoring in business, you would not only look for general scholarships through your chosen school but also look to see what is offered through the business school.
- Your parents, grandparents and other family members. When you look for scholarships in RI, there is a pretty good mix of both broad scholarships and very narrow scholarships. A scholarship with a more narrow audience would include ones geared towards employees or children of a specific company for example. In order to find out about any scholarships with a more narrow audience, talk to your parents about checking into programs they might have at work or through associations they are in. This type of scholarship information can be very useful since these programs usually have far fewer applicants than national scholarship programs.
- Scholarship search websites. Using a search site specific to scholarships can be very helpful since they usually offer various filters to help narrow your search down. For scholarships in RI, a great site to start with is http://www.rischolarships.com/. Or you can view a ver comprehensive list of national scholarship search tools.
Beyond using scholarships to pay for school, you can also a look into low interest loan programs to help cover the costs of college. In Rhode Island RISLA offers a low fixed rate student loan well as financial aid advice and college planning services through the College Planning Center of Rhode Island.
featured photo by minifig.