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USING THE NET TO HELP GET SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS

The Herald News – Joliet (IL) September 30, 1999 One of the sites in this story has it right when it says, “Freedom lies with an education.” That’s true whether you are a college-aged kid looking for her first taste of higher learning or a middle-aged guy in a dead-end job and looking for a way out. web site free grant money

But education is expensive in this country, as we all know — so loans often are the answer, although they can turn problematic once schooling is completed.

Grants and scholarships are the best way to go to school (for free), though no one said it was easy to get these gifts.

Let the Net help.

Finder services Think you can’t find all the scholarships available? Maybe you want to try FastWeb, a free scholarship search.

Set up a personalized profile to match your specific skills, abilities, and interests to a database of more than 400,000 scholarships.

The site trawls its database and returns with a list of scholarships that meet your talents.

New England Scholarship Service is a professional scholarship, grant and financial aid-matching company.

That means it maintains and “guarantees results” from its own database, which has current “gift aid resources.” Unfortunately, you cannot browse the company s database.

The Sallie Mae Online Scholarship Service gives access to CASHE (the College Aid Sources for Higher Education), a comprehensive source of funding information from a variety of resources, including scholarships, fellowships, grants, work study, loan programs, tuition waivers, internships, competitions and work co-operative programs.

The site also has a glossary and a list of links.

The Abbreviated Grant Seekers Guide is just that — a listing of “free grant money,” including scholarships and loans to students from schools, colleges, private funding, and the federal government.

The site has links to numerous grant sites.

Scholarship tips Say you’ve found a scholarship you want to go after.

You may need a few tips.

Scholarship Resource Network, the site quoted above, has a free database of scholarship information, as well as information about “student loan forgiveness programs.” It has sections entitled “(Explaining the) Scholarship Process,” “Scholarship Discussion,” “Scholarship Calendar,” “FAQs about Scholarships,” and more. web site free grant money

One of the FAQs is “Are scholarships from the private sector for college freshmen only?” The answer: No.

Scholarship Scams starts with this heart-sinking quote: “Need Money for College? Doesn t everybody?” The site, under the auspices of the Federal Trade Commission, reminds us that many students and their families fall for scholarship scams.

The site has tips on what the warning signs are, in sections such as these: “Information for College Students: 6 Signs That Your $cholarship Is $unk”; “Information for College-bound Students: Don’t Get Scammed on Your Way to College”; and “Consumer Alert … Students Getting Stung Trying to Find $$$ for College.” Here are a few of the scholarships found using the sites listed above.

You can find others, as well.

Chela Financial, a San Francisco-based nonprofit corporation with more than $1 billion in assets, was created specifically to offer financial access and assistance to students pursuing higher education.

The Chela site also has good information about paying off loans.

America s Junior Miss Scholarship Program is an annual scholarship contest that honors the nation s outstanding high school senior girls.

Are you really smart? Bill Clinton-smart? The Rhodes Scholarship Trust is the official site for information from the American Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Trust at Oxford University.

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