The College System

College Cost & Scholarships

By understanding college costs, you can better compare schools and explore options to make college more affordable.

College Cost & Scholarships

For most students and their families, paying for college is a major financial move. Therefore it is very important to properly add up all the different elements that constitute the Universities’ Cost of Attendance. Tuition is just the starting point when calculating your budget. 

College costs can be divided into five main categories. While these costs can be controlled by you to some extent, before sitting down and setting a budget it would be good to go over the costs, understand them, and figure out how much you can afford:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and Board
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation
  • Personal expenses

Note: There’s one more item to consider, Medical Insurance: although it is not the same for every student. You might need student medical insurance to enroll in college. Most universities will have one or several recommended providers. Do your research, and choose the options that fit your needs and your budget.

Costs of college can differ depending on the location of where you want to attend. Usually, the cost of going to college in-state is always cheaper than attending college out-of-state. Here are some details of that statement:

Financial Aid & Scholarships
Scholarships are financial aid awards designed to help you pay for your education. This is the most powerful tool you and your family have to lower the cost of college and avoid student loans.  You do not need to be a star athlete or valedictorian to win scholarships. Many scholarships are based on financial need, community service, and your intended field of study.

The financial aid process is overwhelming, especially when going through the process without help from a reliable source.

Types of financial aid:

  • Merit-Based Scholarships: Financial aid awards are based on talents that will contribute to the enrichment and success of the institution, there are three main types of merit
    – Athletic
    – Academic
    – Artistic
  • Need Based Scholarships: aim to support students who have demonstrated financial need. These scholarships sometimes also include merit or academic components, but will always require students to demonstrate financial need.
    – FAFSA
    – CSS Profile
  • Student Specific Scholarships: some financial aid is available to people who have certain personal characteristics.
  • Career-Specific Scholarships: based on the specific area of study that is required by the institution. Specific areas of study are highly required by an institution. The most common career specific financial aid are:
    – Education
    – STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
    – Healthcare
  • College-Specific Scholarships: Scholarship funds are created by the institution or alumni.

Last few things you need to know about scholarships is how to look for them. Here are some tips for looking for scholarships to apply for:

  • Speak with you counselor
  • Contact college financial aid offices
  • Ask your parents employers if they offer scholarships
  • Research organizations in your field of interest
  • Use an online scholarship search tool