Grants, scholarships, and loans are all examples of some of the different types of financial aid programs that an individual can use to pay for accounting college. It is important to note, however, that these three types of financial aid programs are not the only financial aid programs available to students; in fact, there are actually a number of other programs that are often overlooked. Two financial aid programs that are commonly overlooked are scholarship contests and work-study programs. Scholarship contests are a type of financial aid benefit in which an organization agrees to pay for some or all of an individual’s education if he or she wins a sweepstakes, a lottery, a writing contest, or some other similar event. Work-study programs, on the other hand, are a type of financial aid benefit in which an individual is allowed to earn his or her college tuition and/or room and board by working for the school or, in some cases, an employer related to the school. Both of these financial aid programs can be very helpful to an individual who is attempting to pay for his or her education, but there are some important details about these programs that an individual should keep in mind.
- First, it is important to remember that while an individual may be required to meet a number of different requirements before he or she can enter a contest, most of the requirements are no longer applicable when the contest is over. This is important because an individual who wins a scholarship contest will typically be able to use the benefits of the scholarship even if he or she no longer meets the academic or financial requirements that an individual would be required to meet in order to keep a standard scholarship. In other words, an individual will typically be allowed to keep a contest scholarship as long as he or she stays in school.
- Secondly, work-study programs typically require an individual to meet a series of financial requirements before he or she can enter the program. Meeting a series of financial requirements is also required in order to stay in the program. This is important because you may lose work-study benefits can be lost due to a change in financial status.
- Third, contest scholarships and work-study awards do not need to be repaid. This is actually one of the major differences between loans and most of the other financial aid programs that are available because a student will never be required to pay back a contest scholarship or a work-study award (unless the student has received more money than he or she actually needs for the education that he or she has already received). Fourth, it is typically more difficult for an individual to win a contest scholarship or get into a work-study program than it is for an individual to obtain another type of financial aid. The reason for this is that there are only a limited number of contests and work-study opportunities available, and there are typically more applicants for these programs than there are prizes to be awarded or slots allowed. An individual should be prepared to seek other financial aid opportunities in case he or she does not win the contest or does not get accepted into a work-study program.
- Finally, it is important to remember that there are a number of different organizations that offer contests; however, work-study programs are typically run by each school as a part of the Federal Work Study Program. Students interested in a work-study program should check with the financial aid office of the school to which they are applying. Students interested in contests should check with their high school’s guidance office, the school that they are planning to attend, their local library, and scholarship clearinghouse websites such as Scholarship Hunter or FinAid.