STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) – Now is the perfect time for new and existing college students to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the starting point for anyone looking for financial aid to help with tuition, books and fees.
“There’s always something for everybody from the FAFSA whether it be grants, loans, work study – all those sorts of things.”
Grants are money from the government, either state or federal, that don’t have to be paid back. They help ease the burden of today’s high tuition rates. Scholarships are similar but come from private individuals, companies or non-profits.
“Start with looking at your high school, looking at your prospective universities that you’re looking at attending for scholarship opportunities, looking through your local community foundations. Employers of yourself or you family members, where they work at. Sometimes they offer dependent scholarships,” said UWSP Financial Aid Advisor Elspeth Eckendorf.
She says students don’t have to be intimidated by the process. Most scholarships are not just for students with the best grades or who excel in sports.
“We have many different areas and avenues. Basically, there’s probably a scholarship for anything a student is looking for.”
Like many colleges and universities, the Office of Financial Aid at UWSP has an open-door policy to help any student navigate the process – not just those committed to going to that particular school.
Eckendorf says the best advice she can give is to get the FAFSA filed before March 15 to make sure students have a better chance of getting the maximum grants they qualify for.
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