No college student sets out for college with the intention of racking up thousands of dollars in student loan debt. For some it may be the only way to go to college, but chances are they haven’t exhausted all possible avenues for finding free money for college. According to experts, hundreds of thousands of dollars in free tuition money go unclaimed each year. With so much money sitting around, why isn’t it being claimed?
Most college hopefuls go the traditional route of applying for a federal or state grant as part of their application process. Since these are highly competitive and, generally, need based most applicants will be turned down for these basic level grants. While you may assume that scholarships are only for athletes or academic scholars, there are several places that offer scholarship money for all different demographics.
Most fields of study have professional associations that operate to provide continuing education and resources for its graduates. For example, if you are pursuing a degree in Psychology the American Psychological Association will have some scholarship programs designed to help support the next generation of graduates through their degree process. From biology and medicine to engineering and education, each major career field will have a professional association offering similar programs. You can find a list of professional associations at: http://www.weddles.com/associations/
Serving in one of the branches of military service can also provide excellent incentives for funding college tuition. However, military service isn’t always an option for everyone. Both national and local organizations offer scholarships to students as well. The idea being to reward those who give back to the community and help others, many organizations from The Salvation Army to Peace Corps offer scholarships for community service members. You can find more information about scholarships for volunteering and community service at: www.finaid.org/scholarships/service.phtml.