Merit aid is money for college based on a students’ efforts and achievements, not their (or their parents’) financial situation.
Unlike loans, scholarship money does not get paid back. Colleges or private entities want to support the educational goals of students who have demonstrated a variety of characteristics or achievements.
Merit aid can be awarded to wealthy as well as middle-class families who don’t qualify for need-based financial aid. It can also go to students from lowincome families. It’s based on a student’s accomplishments, academic or otherwise. They don’t have to be geniuses or athletes to earn a merit scholarship.
It’s never too soon to start looking into obtaining merit aid. Your child can begin using their achievements to lower the cost of college as early as middle school, if not before....
I’m honored to have been published in Financial Advisor Magazine, the resource for some of our nation’s sharpest financial leaders.
Click right here to read my article: Help Clients Combat Soaring College Costs
If you want to learn how to reduce the amount of money you need to take from their savings, retirement and investment accounts to pay for college.
Email me at [email protected] and tell me your biggest takeaway.
Merit scholarships give all students an opportunity to use their achievements to contribute to the cost of college.Depending on whether they are pursuing merit aid from private sources or from colleges, students will use different strategies and different achievements to win money for college.
The family’s finances have nothing to do with winning merit scholarships. Instead, students can use their achievements, involvements, community service, passions, academics and other qualities to pursue money for college that never has to be paid back.
The two types of merit scholarships offer different benefits and reward different types of achievements. Private merit scholarships are typically not based on grades or academics. Instead, organizations reward almost everything else about a student, including community service, hobbies, passions, challenges, goals, heritage, religion, and more.
Meanwhile, colleges and universities use institutional merit scholarships to encourage students...
College visits are important. They can be fun as well as informative.
Planning ahead will make the visit more productive and ensure that you and your student get the information you need.
When should you go?
You may decide to visit colleges before your student applies; wait until after they've been admitted; or do a little of each.
Visiting early in the college process will allow you to save on admissions application fees as well as spare your student from wasting time on applications for schools they wouldn't attend even if they were to be admitted.
Plus, if your student visits before submitting their application, they can incorporate something about visiting their campus into their essay and demonstrate their deep interest in that school.
However, traveling for college visits can be expensive and time consuming, depending how far you go and how many schools you tour.
Meanwhile, some families choose to only visit schools after their student has been accepted. This strategy avoids...