Internet Resources for Financial Aid
As the Internet grows, so does the number of sites specifically geared toward student financial aid. Searching these sites for financial aid information that meets an individual student's specific needs can be a time-consuming and overwhelming process. What follows is an overview of websites that provide information on a wide range of student financial aid areas. Students should remember that the information they provide over the Internet is not secure and that the use of "free" services may result in unsolicited mail, email, or phone contact from businesses involved in financial aid. While each website has been reviewed by an Empire State College financial aid professional, inclusion on the list does not constitute an endorsement of the sponsor or products.
Free Internet Scholarship Searches
Students who utilize Internet scholarship searches should be aware that the information they provide to the search is not secure. Further, a student who uses the search may receive unsolicited mail concerning student aid, lender services, etc. that may contain incomplete or incorrect eligibility information. Empire State College does not guarantee that the use of the search will result in the successful receipt of any scholarship aid for the student. Nevertheless, the free Internet search FastWEB is a good starting point for alternative sources of funding for college.
- CollegeBoard provides a free scholarship search, as well as information on the basics of how to apply for outside scholarships and how to spot scholarship scams.
- Scholarships.Com is a site where you can find scholarships broken down by grade level, major, state and type. This site also offers free information on funding your education, study skills and success stories.
- FastWEB is a very user-friendly, free database of more than 180,000 potential sources of student financial aid. Students enter demographic data and within 15 minutes have a clear and concise listing of possible sources of financial aid. The site allows students to create a mailbox where they are notified of potential sources of aid that become available after the initial scholarship search. Students who provide an email address will have scholarship updates automatically sent to it.
- MATCH 25 is a free Web version of the Wintergreen/Orchard House Scholarship Finder and claims to have 500,000 private-sector awards in its database. Most appear to be geared toward students with very specific demographic information.
- Molis Scholarship Search/Science Wise provides free information about scholarships for qualified minority applicants. The search is not narrowly defined, so students will receive information on financial aid resources regarding general eligibility criteria.
- CollegeScholarships.com enables the student to complete a profile which asks questions regarding the student's talents, hobbies and other personal characteristics. Scholarship information will appear when the profile is completed.
Financial Aid Calculators
Most financial aid calculators on the Internet are complicated by the fact that they require specific information on college costs and provide only an estimate of the expected family contribution (EFC) and not an estimate of the federal Pell grant or NYS TAP award. For federal student aid, the best bet for most students is to complete the FAFSA and within two weeks the student will receive his or her official student aid report, which will contain his or her official EFC and notification of their Pell grant eligibility. Students who correctly list Empire State College as their school of record will have their FAFSA information automatically transmitted from the federal processor to Empire State College's financial aid office.
Other Websites of Interest
- Student Aid Guide: federal publication that explains eligibility requirements, deadlines, application process, etc. for federal Pell grants, federal work study, federal Perkins loans, federal supplemental educational opportunity grants and federal student loans
- Direct Loan Servicing Center: provides students with telephone numbers regarding loan regulations, repayment, deferments, consolidation, etc.
- Internal Revenue Service: link to Internal Revenue Service's webpage to request federal tax forms and learn more about tax breaks for education
- Student Loan Service Center: information on federal Perkins loan deferment, repayment and default prevention; downloadable loan deferment request form
- Veterans Administration: educational benefits available to veterans and their families
- U.S. Department of Education Office of Post Secondary Education: up-to-date information on federal student aid
- NYS Higher Education Services: up-to-date information on financial aid offered through New York state; links to scholarship information, New York state application college planning, etc.
- National Association of Financial Aid Administrators: information on financial aid for students and parents from a national perspective; links to several sites including those which advocate for increased student aid funding
- New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA): basic information on New York state and federal student aid
- Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans: opportunities for continuing generations of able and accomplished new Americans to achieve leadership in their chosen fields and to partake of the American dream; 30 fellowships for graduate study for new Americans (with a minimum of a green card) and the children of immigrant parents who are naturalized citizens; applicant must be at least a senior in college, not beyond his or her second year in graduate studies and less than 30 years of age.