Scholarships can be need-based, merit-based, or based on things like your hobbies, field of study, ethnicity, religion, and more. Sallie Mae offers free scholarship search tools to match undergraduate and graduate students to millions of dollars in scholarships. Students fill out a brief profile, and in minutes, and the tool responds with matches that identify relevant scholarships, their award amounts, application requirements, and deadlines. Last year, more than 25,000 students received a scholarship via our search tool covering $67 million in college costs.
One of the most critical factors to consider when deciding on the right college is how to pay for it. Sallie Mae offers a free guide to help students make sense of their financial aid offers and help inform their big decision. If students applied for early action or early decision, they’ll hear back from schools as early as December. Otherwise, they hear from schools in late March or early April. It’s important to compare offers to identify the best financial aid packages.
Our free college planning tools and calculators help families consider the full cost of college including room and board, books, and more, not just tuition. Students should factor savings, scholarships, grants, and loans into the plan, and revise it as more resources become available to them.
Our 1-2-3 approach to paying-for-college helps simplify the financing decisions students and families make. First, apply for scholarships to reduce the size of needed loans. Second, explore federal financing options by completing the FAFSA. Finally, if needed, fill any financing gaps with a responsible private loan.