When conversations about paying for college initially take place, terms like “scholarships” and “financial aid” are oftentimes used interchangeably. Generally speaking, they are both methods used to pay for school. However, they are very different. Scholarships are distributed to or won by students, and the money that is given never has to be paid back. Financial aid is a different matter. Some of the money is free for students to use to pay for college, while student loans, which are oftentimes lumped in with the financial aid package that colleges distribute, must be paid back after graduation. Still have more questions about scholarships and financial aid? That’s perfectly fine! Below, we dissect even more differences between the two as well as prepare you for the next steps toward paying for college with scholarships and financial aid.Finally, students can ask their high school counselor, teachers, or mentors about scholarship opportunities that are local to them. Though Fastweb does feature scholarships by location, there may be an opportunity closer to home that we don’t know about quite yet.Each scholarship is different, so it’s important to read the fine print. Don’t apply for every scholarship you come across; it may be a complete waste of time if you don’t meet the requirements. On the other hand, apply for every scholarship that you come across that you do qualify for! Like we always say here at Fastweb, the more scholarships you apply to, the greater your chances of winning one. You can ensure that you qualify for many scholarships by working hard in your classes, increasing or maintaining a great GPA, and getting involved in a variety of extracurricular activities and community projects. Scholarship committees want to reward students who are hard-working, motivated, and interesting.
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