With tuition costs on the rise, paying for college can be a financial barrier for many families.
According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, during the 2018-2019 school year, students paid a net price of $13,900 at public institutions, $27,200 at private nonprofit institutions, and $23,800 at private for-profit institutions. The net price includes annual costs of tuition, room and board, books, and fees.
To afford the cost of college, many students and their parents apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, known as a FAFSA, to determine how much they are eligible to receive from the school, state, and federal government. Most families qualify for some form of aid, including student loans that enable many families to afford college tuition, though they do need to be paid back with interest. Taking out loans to pay for post-secondary education may be necessary for some, and it’s important that students understand the long-term financial impact. To paint a picture, at the end of 2021, total student loan debt in the US reached $1.58 trillion, with students graduating with an average debt of $31,100.
Scholarships, however, can be a cost-effective way to cover the cost of college. Unlike loans, scholarships do not need to be paid back and they often focus on different aspects of a student’s background, from academic achievements to athletic talents. College Ave compiled a list of the different kinds of scholarships that are available to students beyond filling out the FAFSA.