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76

JUNE 2017

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT

P

aying for college in the United States can be a Hercu-

lean task. But some of the burden can be reduced with

scholarships. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants

are gifts—and a gift is always better than a loan.

The best source of funding—“inside” funding—comes in

the form of merit scholarships and need-based grants from

the colleges themselves. These are often renewed each year,

as long as you keep your grades up and have no disciplinary

problems while in college.

It pays to research colleges with large endowments that

can afford to give out more money, as well as the many excel-

lent private colleges that are less selective than the “top tier.”

They often generously award students who rank in the top 25

percent of their high school class.

Need-Based Aid

Need-based financial aid is a different story. But it’s worth

reviewing the basics of this because there is increasing

overlap in the forms required for both need-based and merit

assistance ...

There are many additional, private (“outside”) sources for

scholarship money, including a few that are geared specifically

to dependents of Foreign Service employees. However, there

are some things to keep in mind about outside scholarships.

Once you have received a need-based financial aid pack-

age from your college, you are required to report any outside

scholarships to the financial aid office. Expect your financial aid

package to be consequently reduced.

When this happens, many colleges try to reduce your loans

before they reduce grant money, but make sure you are aware

of each of your chosen colleges’ financial aid policies if you plan

to apply for outside scholarships.

If you submit multiple private scholarship applications, it’s

possible to win enough money to eliminate your loans and even

cover most, if not all, of your college expenses.

Francesca Kelly, a Foreign Service spouse, is a writer, university

counselor and college essay tutor. She writes frequently on educa-

tion issues and is a former editor of AFSANews. The complete

article appeared in the

December 2016 Journal .

FROM THE DECEMBER 2016

FSJ

EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT

Finding Money for College

BY FRANCESCA KELLY