Information for 9th and 10th Grade Students and Their Parents

You Can Go to College
Helpful Information for Free
You May be Eligible for Financial Aid
Be Sure to Cover All Your Options
Always Apply
Timing Is Important
Do Your Best and Prepare Well
 

You Can Go to College

The world today is very different than it used to be. In today's society, you cannot afford NOT to go to college. You don't have to be rich to go to college today. There is more than $50 billion in financial aid available in this country each year.

You can go to college, even if no one in your family has gone before. But it is never too early to start saving for college. If you and your family are able to save a little something each month, look into North Carolina's National College Savings Program.
 

Helpful Information for Free

Now is also the time to start learning about scholarships, grants, and work-study programs. There is no need to pay for scholarship and financial aid searches. College Foundation of North Carolina provides you with a financial aid search and with links to national scholarship search programs, free of charge.

 

You May Be Eligible for Financial Aid

Most financial aid is based on need, and a simple equation is used to determine the amount for which you might qualify:

    Cost of education - What your family can afford = Aid eligibility

Want more detail about financial aid? Then read Financial Aid FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

 

Be Sure to Cover All Your Options

In addition to need-based scholarships, merit-based scholarships are widely available. Merit-based aid is awarded to students who have a special characteristic, skill, talent, ability, or affiliation, and is usually awarded in the form of a scholarship. Qualifications for these types of awards are extremely broad in scope, ranging from academic, artistic, athletic, and musical abilities to religious affiliations or even last name! So don't overlook these opportunities. And don't forget that different schools award merit-based aid for different levels of achievement - one school may grant you a merit-based scholarship when another school would not.

 

Always Apply

How do you get financial aid? In a word: APPLY. And if you don't think you're eligible, APPLY ANYWAY. You have nothing to lose by trying, but everything to gain.

 

Timing Is Important

The time to apply for financial aid is in your senior year of high school. Make an appointment early in the year to talk to your guidance counselor about financial aid options. During your junior and senior years, attend the financial aid night at your high school, which is usually held in January or February. Make sure to check with the colleges you are applying to since different schools use different deadlines. You do not need to be admitted to the school before you apply for financial aid there, and if you wait until you are admitted, you will probably have missed important deadlines.

 

Do Your Best and Prepare Well

Although you don't necessarily need good grades to receive need-based financial aid, you should be as well prepared academically for college as possible. College Foundation of North Carolina can help you select the right courses for the best college preparation. Just go to the Plan tab. We can also help you explore your career interests so that when the time comes to select a college, you can make an informed, intelligent decision about which school will serve your interests best. Explore Careers and Postsecondary Schools.