Posts Tagged ‘FAFSA’

How to Get a Scholarship: Results and Your Next Step

[Note: This is part three of a three part series on How to Get a Scholarship. To read parts one and two, visit Research and Planning and Choosing and Applying.]

How to Get a Scholarship: Results and Your Next Step


After researching, choosing, and applying for a scholarship, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself! Then, gear up to receive results and take the next step in your journey to college education. The good news? No matter what the results, Cappex is here to help.

After Applying

  • Check to see if there is a way to track the status of your application. There might be a timeline offered by the organization to track the application process.
  • Find out how the organization will notify you with results. If it’s through email, be sure to check your email (and keep an eye on that pesky Spam folder) regularly. If it’s through the US Postal Service, be sure you don’t throw out any mail that might pertain to your scholarship.
  • Don’t bank on one scholarship – continue researching your options to maximize your chances of earning college funds.

Results: The Good

  • Congratulations! You’ve won a scholarship!
  • If you don’t know already, find out how the funds will reach you. Will it be through a check or through your university? Make sure you know how and when the scholarship will be applied so you can track the transactions.
  • You basically have a first draft of a college essay written. Cool! Use it on your college applications when it is relevant.
  • Start budgeting and planning how you can use your funding most effectively. If the scholarship can be applied anywhere, decide what works best for you financially.
  • Try to calculate what you will still owe after using your scholarship money. Then, apply for more scholarships!

Results: The Bad

  • Don’t freak out if you didn’t win the first few scholarships for which you applied. This is totally normal – you’re not going to win them all.
  • Keep looking. Keep digging. Keep asking and researching opportunities. Talk to your guidance counselor if you are having trouble. They may have some secret weapons and places to look.
  • Ask the organization that denied your application for notes on why you were not accepted. They might be able to offer good advice on your writing skills. It also might be reassuring to know that they just had too many applicants this year and it was only a matter of numbers.
  • Don’t give up! Try filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you have not already.

The most important thing to remember is that time spent on scholarships is time well spent. They are terrific opportunities with many benefits. You gain experience and the good feeling of working hard towards something special – your college years!

How to Get a Scholarship: Research and Planning | Choosing and Applying | Results and Your Next Step

FAFSA Break Down: Work Study Program

If you plan on filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you may be interested in a more active means of earning money towards your education. The Federal Work Study Program (FWS) may be the right move for you!

Who: The Federal Work Study Program is available to undergraduate and graduate students who qualify for financial aid. International or foreign students usually do not qualify for this program.

What: Students work part-time to help pay for their education. The money the student makes working is applied to the cost of classes, room and board, and supplies. At the very least, students earn federal minimum wage hourly. Often schools take into consideration the student’s area of study when accepting them for FWS and assigning a job.

Where: About 3,400 colleges and universities in the United States participate in the Federal Work Study Program.

How: Each participating college or university is given funding to supply to students in the FWS Program. The jobs available for students will vary depending on the institution. Many jobs are directly associated with the college or university, but there is a requirement that jobs through private employers in the local community be made available as well. In fact, 7% of the jobs available to students must be community service positions. Common jobs include administrative work in campus offices or tutoring children at neighboring schools.

Each school does have different restrictions on how it gives its students their earned funds. Additionally, some schools have a specific number of hours the FWS Program students must work. It is possible that if you are participating in the FWS Program and your grade point average falls below a certain number you will no longer be eligible for funding. If you receive financial aid from another source, that may change how much FWS aid you can get. Check with your school to find out exactly what restrictions it has on FWS students.

If you are interested in joining the FWS Program, be sure to indicate this on your FAFSA form! But keep in mind that sometimes the deadline for requesting to be part of FWS comes before the FAFSA deadline. Apply as early as possible to increase your chances of being accepted to this program and guarantee funding for your education. The colleges and universities involved have a limited amount of funding to use for students in the FWS Program.

If you do not qualify for the Federal Work Study Program, there are still other options to help fund your college career. Visit Cappex to find information on scholarships!

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FAFSA Break Down: Pell Grants

By filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), prospective and current students can deduce their eligibility to receive help from the government to pay for their higher education. There are several different grants, loans, and programs that can be awarded to help students pay for their higher education. If you are a student who requires financial aid, you might receive a Pell Grant. What exactly is a Pell Grant? Let’s break it down.

Who: Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students who have not yet earned their Bachelor’s degree and do not currently owe money towards any other student loans.

What: These grants do not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are often used as the foundation to a student’s financial aid; additional forms of aid can be applied along with Pell Grants. As of July 1, 2012 the maximum amount a student can receive for one award year is $5,500; students can continue to receive aid up to 12 semesters. The amount awarded per year varies depending on the EFC (Expected Family Contribution as calculated by the FAFSA), the cost of the institution, and whether or not the recipient plans to attend full-time or part-time.

The scheduled award is the max amount of money a student receives in one award year (July 1st – June 30th).  You may not use 100% of this scheduled award amount each year if you are a part-time student. If this is the case, it’s possible that the leftover percentage can be applied to subsequent semesters until you reach the full 600% you’ve been given. The 600% comes from the 12 semester maximum; each semester accounts for 50% of your scheduled award.

Where: There are roughly 5,400 colleges and universities where you can use a Pell Grant.

How: Schools can either apply the funds directly to the student’s costs or pay the student by check. Sometimes, colleges and universities will utilize a combination of these two methods. Either way, the school must outline in writing how they plan on paying the student, the amount the student will receive with each payment, and when the payments will be made. Schools must pay the student once per term. Basically, if your school is on a semester schedule, each semester you should receive a Pell Grant payment. If for some reason your school does not have a semester, trimester or quarter system, you will receive payments twice per year.

When: Applications begin rolling in on January 1st for that year’s academic school year. So, if you need financial aid beginning in September of 2013, you can send in your FAFSA on or after January 1, 2013. Remember that the funds are limited and given out on a first come, first serve basis. Deadlines for FAFSA submissions vary by state. Double check with your academic adviser to find out your state’s FAFSA deadline. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to two months for your application to be processed!

Learn about more ways to find money for college at Cappex.

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