College Climb

Navigate your way to scholarship money to fund your child's education

free money that usually consists of grants and scholarships. The Pell Grant, the largest federally sponsored program, awards free money-up to $3,125 a year based on the EFC, the cost of attendance and whether the recipient is a full-time or part-time student. At its peak in the late 1970s, the maximum Pell Grant funded three-quarters of the average cost of attending a four-year public college. Today it covers only one-third of such costs, according to the College Board. “Because the level of support generated from the federal and state government has not grown at the same rate as the cost of attendance, there is more money available in loans, partly due to [the addition of] unsubsidized loans, which are not need-based.” says John Brugel, Ph.D., university director of financial aid at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Work-study programs-on-campus jobs where students can work an average of 10 to 15 hours a week to help fund college expenses-offer an alternative if your child’s financial aid package falls short. Recently, the federal government passed legislation approving a $64 million increase in the federal work-study program. Now there are additional jobs for 1 million students. The program represents $2.7 billion (4.4%) of total student aid. The benefits for work-study participants are twofold: students receive financial assistance as well as real-life work experiences.

For more information on government financial aid resources, order the Student Guide 1999-2000 at 800-4-FED-AID or download it at info/ SFA / StudentGuide.

Randy James’ financial aid package of $24,358 consisted of a $12,183 award from Lebanon Valley College; $6,750 in private scholarships from community organizations; a $2,625 Stafford Loan; a $1,500 Perkins Loan; and $1,300 for work-study. His fees, including tuition and room and board, amount to $22,750. This means he has an additional $1,608 to cover miscellaneous expenses. This package is renewable as long as he maintains a 2.5 GPA and participates in a multicultural event annually.

“Once I signed my acceptance letter to Lebanon, I thought everything was gravy from there,” says Randy. “But I failed to realize there is a lot more work to do [if you want to get a scholarship].” Randy’s advice: “Start early and don’t be lazy; whether it’s 40 or 100 scholarships, apply for each one.”

Here is a selection of “free” financial aid resources

AIFS Minority Scholarship
American Institute for Foreign Study
River Plaza, 9 W. Broad St. (As of Nov. 1)
Stamford, CT 06902
Criteria: Minorities must be involved in multicultural activities. Students who receive financial aid can apply it towards study in Japan,
South Africa and Western Europe.
Award: $1,000 and up
Award Years: Freshman through senior study
Number of Awards: 6 (1 full scholarship and 5
merit grants)
Deadline: October 15 for Spring
April 15 for Fall

Fulfilling the Legacy Scholarship
National Society of Black Engineers
1454 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Criteria: Applicant must be a member of the organization. Major or career interest in science or engineering. Community and on-campus activities considered.
Award: Varies
Award Years: Freshman through graduate study.
Number of Awards: 75
Deadline: January 7

Chemical Society Minority Scholarship
American Chemical Society Scholars Program

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