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How do I pay for college?

Money treeUnless you’ve got a money tree, figuring out how to pay for college can be a little tricky.  Basically, you can pay for college one of two ways – or a combo of both:  Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Seriously. Relax about the process. Our website makes it easy and our experienced staff members are ready to help.

Applying for Financial Aid might feel daunting, but don’t let the name of the form intimidate you. Federal programs sound official and important…because they are!  And, if you’re worried about whether or not you’ll qualify for any aid, don’t!  Over 80% of our students get some form of aid.

You need to take a peek at the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) via www.FAFSA.gov and jot down any questions you may have — you might not have any, but just go look. You have to start somewhere!  For another starting place, you can also check out http://www.kirtland.edu/paying-for-college or call our Financial Aid experts. You do not need to go this alone.

Yep, you’ll have to redo your FAFSA application every year, but once you’ve done it, the process is like getting back on a bike.   It can take about 30 days to know whether or not you’ve been approved and time is getting tight.  But again, you’re not in this alone.  Contact our Financial Aid experts if you need a little help to get things rolling.

Scholarships are another option…and another story. Availability and criteria change a lot so it pays to check the Scholarships page on our website on a fairly regular basis. Why? Most foundations, local nonprofits such local and national organizations decide to provide scholarship money on their time and their own dime; it’s not up to us.

Plus, there are tons of scholarships you can find by searching the internet.  We plopped some hotlinks to Scholarship Search Engines on our Scholarships page to get you started.   Either way, it takes a lot of leg work but the cash is there and it’s meant to be used.  It is a little like a money tree, so go out and see what’s available.  It’s definitely not “one size fits all” and a lot of scholarships won’t be for you, but take a look!  Our own Foundation awards scholarships too – take a peek and see what you might qualify for.

You have no idea how valuable both financial aid and scholarships can prove to be unless you try. You just never know. ..but you’ve got to take that first step and start shaking those trees!