| 03.20.2018

The gift of scholarships – UI and FAFSA aren”t the only financial aid options


College is one of the largest investments people face in their lives, and unfortunately, a higher education is becoming harder to pay for.

The priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was Monday, which a lot of students depend on to make their college education affordable every year.

However, FAFSA shouldn”t be the only option students turn to when it comes to financial aid. Scholarships are a beautiful gift for students – one that doesn”t have to be repaid ­– and the University of Idaho offers a variety of scholarships to students. This can encompass general admission students or minority scholars, and specific colleges or departments also offer scholarships to students within their major.

Some scholarships are aimed directly at out-of-state and international students. There are some that students have to receive upon acceptance to UI, but some are also available to students already at the university.

Scholarships can also be awarded based on military service, honors programs or living groups at UI, including residence halls. Sometimes clubs and organizations have opportunities for financial aid.

Students who volunteer can receive certain scholarships and taking part in student government or ASUI opens students up for financial aid opportunities, too. There are even awards available for people who take part in intramural sports.

There are many other opportunities for students to receive financial aid from completely outside the university as well. Gritman Medical Center offers several scholarships for students pursuing an education in healthcare and there are some local scholarships offered from other institutions in Moscow.

Financial aid isn”t only for first-year students or those who come to college right out of high school, either. Some scholarships are meant specifically for upperclassmen in certain degree fields, students who are completing undergraduate research or students who are choosing to study abroad. There are also scholarships for non-traditional students and students with children.

According to the university website, more than $25 million in scholarships is awarded by UI annually. However, it is still important for students to check outside sources in order to receive the financial aid they need.

College is expensive, but students shouldn”t be discouraged when it comes to paying for school. There are many options available and they should explore them all and utilize the department-specific scholarships and talk to a financial aid counselor.

For many scholarships, UI students are automatically eligible, which makes it easier on students. Students should still talk to an academic adviser about opportunities within a department. Showing ambition early can often be beneficial.

There are so many different opportunities for scholarships – any student can find one that fits them if they just do a little bit of research. The money isn”t all that hard to find, it just takes some effort to actually get it.

– CW

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