The Most Affordable Colleges May Be In Your Hometown and Scholarships for College

What do we mean when we say the most affordable colleges, and You Can Find Scholarships for College


It is a known fact that good things do not come cheap. The simple answer is, no they do not. Then how can we look for a college that is cheap? After all, college is a place at which we begin to nurture and grow as an individual. It forms the first stepping stone of our bright career. Here the word is not cheap, but affordable. There is a radical difference between the two.

When we look for a college there are a number of criteria and benchmarks that we have in mind and you’d like to satisfy all of them while selecting a college. Spending less does not mean you have to compromise with the quality of the university or exposure they provide. Students are hired with quality companies from the affordable colleges as well as expensive colleges.

When it comes to education, people are highly resistant to adjust on perceived quality. They look for the best of the best colleges they can migrate to for getting a high quality education. However, there is a growing concern regarding the affordability of colleges. Why spend more, when you can achieve the same quality for less.
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The idea of affordability, however, may vary from person to person as it depends on the family’s total annual income. What affordability means is that you can pay the tuition fees and other costs of the college, without straining your budget.

The most affordable college can be anywhere around the country or even in your hometown. How affordable or expensive a college is, is determined by its return on investment, i.e. the quality of employment a student recieves when they graduate from the institution. You would be amazed to know that the most affordable colleges, are also among the best colleges around the globe.

The second thing that determines the affordability of a college is the percentage of needy students that are granted financial aid. The larger the percentage of students getting such financial help, the higher  the affordability tends to be. There are a number of colleges that offer student financial aid and scholarships in order to gain admission by the best students. What you need to keep in mind when searching a college within a defined budget is to look for such options and seize the opportunity.

You need to know the ranking of the college in various surveys that are regularly conducted. Try to contact the alumni and current students of the college. You can even check out this tool called College Affordability and Transparency Center that ranks colleges according to its affordability. Your number one concern should be cost, unless you have a full scholarship or wealthy parents.

So you now know the difference between a cheap college and an affordable one. These are the points you need to pay close attention to when searching for the most affordable college. Affordable colleges after all are not a myth or magic they do exist right here. What you need to do is look at the right place at the right time.

How to Find Scholarships for College?

Scholarships for college are a boon for students who are economically challenged, and some who are not, but have superior grades, or something the college would like to add to its roster of talented students. With, college comes high costs and these rising costs can force you out of the college, if you don’t understand that colleges are serious when they say, you must pay or leave college. Now, you can continue your education with the help of different scholarships for various college programs. There are many agencies, from Non-Profit Organizations’ to Government organizations, which help to make sure your financial problems do not become a hurdle to your education. There are numerous kinds of scholarships that students can apply for:

Merit based: These scholarships are provided on the basis of marks obtained in various school and college level exams, grades, or accomplishments.

Specific group based: Such scholarships are given to Minority students, Music students, Academically superior students, Sports students, Farmers children, Financially needy students, Students of military parents, Church Students etc.

Sources for scholarships

  • Government – Government allots millions of dollars for the educational sector in the annual budget. This money is used to provide scholarships to students who are in need of financial aid. Students can regularly check the websites of the organizations offering such financial support for updates. Various test based scholarships are also given to students who perform well at national and state levels. Check with your guidance counselor for state and federal scholarships. Then check the government websites. 
  • NGO`S – Nowadays, NGO`S are giving a helping hand to students who are eager to go to college. They are ready to pay for the college fees for students who are underprivileged, handicapped, had some type of family tragedy, or many other extenuating circumstances. 
  • College – Colleges also provide scholarships for students who are par excellence in academics. It works as an incentive for students who maintain high grades.                                

How to apply?

Start with and They have a whole host of college scholarships for just about anyone. Also, check your reference librarian for scholarship search books.  Fill out the FAFSA application online as soon as it comes out. This will qualify you for scholarships, grants, work study and loans. (FAFSA = free application for federal student aid).

Usually, scholarships appear online, at your high school or your college. Just at the start of your last year in high school, look for these scholarships in print and online media. These days, everything is online; hence, it is easy to complete scholarship applications online. Just fill out the application online. If you fulfill the criteria for a particular scholarship you will be contacted.

The money will be received in two ways-  

  • College directly- The money will be transferred to your college`s account directly. It will cover your tuition fee and other charges.
  • Directly to your checking account- The money will be sent to you through a check. To be deposited into your checking account.

No need to be disappointed, if you are short of the monetary resources to pay for college. Remain hopeful and keep looking for scholarships through the internet and library sources. Contact your high school counselor; ask a friend, parent or neighbor to help you search for scholarships. Some students apply for 50-200 scholarships and hit the jackpot with a  few scholarships.

Lois Center-Shabazz
author of, Live Rich Save Money! Budget Diary
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author of, Live Rich Save Money! 68 Powerful Ways to Save Money, Now and Forever
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