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Financial Aid

  • Net Price Calculator Center – The Net Price Calculator Center provides an easy tool to allow students and families to enter information about themselves and find out the net price of any given college – that is, the price after subtracting the scholarships and grants a student are likely to receive.
  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – This site plays a central and essential role in America’s post secondary educational aid.
  • Princeton Review – A variety of scholarships and financial aid for college, business, graduate, law and medical school can be found here.
  • Financial Aid Shopping Sheet – Many colleges and universities have adapted a shopping sheet that provides personalized information on financial aid and net costs as well as general information on institutional outcomes — all in a standardized format. This tool provides an easy way to make clear comparisons among financial aid offers from different schools.
  • FinAid! – The SmartStudent Guide to financial aid.
  • GoCollege – The collegiate website for financial aid and scholarship information.


Scholarships can be a very helpful solution in solving financial aid challenges for incoming college students. They also require a significant amount of time devoted to research and completing applications. However, scholarships can provide a large payoff in the end if you prepare correctly.  Read on for more tips about scholarships.
Searching for Scholarships
  • Don’t wait until your senior year to start searching for scholarships.  There are many different types of scholarships – there are even scholarships for elementary school students! If you wait until your senior year to start your research, you’ve waited much too long.
  • Make a list of your academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, jobs you may have held, career plans and unique attributes about you. Also include what your parents do and who they work for.  This list will help you determine what scholarships you will be eligible for.
  • When using scholarship search engines (such as FastWeb or, make sure you answer every single available question to ensure the most matches for potential scholarships.
  • Make sure you look for scholarships that might be offered in your area. Elk Grove Unified School District students are very lucky to have the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation. The Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation provides post-secondary scholarships for local youth. Click here to visit the Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation website.
  • Leave no stone unturned in your scholarship search! Check your State Department of Education as well as colleges on your list.  Scholarships are everywhere – you can find them if you’re willing to look!
Scholarship Resources:
  • Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation – Scholarships only available to senior students in the Elk Grove Unified School District. The Elk Grove Community Foundation generates, manages, endows and distributes post secondary scholarships to the area’s youth.
  • – An electronic database of scholarship opportunities for all students.
  • FastWeb – The premier online resource for paying and preparing for college.
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund – Scholarships geared for students of Hispanic descent.
  • – A scholarship search service helping students since 1995.
  • Sixt Scholar Program – Founded in 2014, the Sixt Scholar Program offers five high school seniors the opportunity to receive a $5,000 scholarship and become a Sixt scholar.
  • - Scholarships for Black and African American students.
Applying for Scholarships
  • Once you have decided to apply for a scholarship, start working on your application early and don’t wait until the last minute.  Starting early will help ensure less mistakes on your application.
  • If your scholarship requires an essay, make sure you personalize your essay.  Scholarship committees are looking to get to know you and the essay portion of a scholarship application presents the perfect opportunity to highlight positive qualities about yourself.
  • Type your scholarship applications, if possible.  Typing your application ensures that your application will be legible.
  • Make sure you PRINT out a copy of your scholarship application to proofread before sending off your application.  Printing for editing purposes helps tremendously in catching more errors.  Also – be sure to have others – such as teachers, parents, other family members – proofread your essay.
  • Be sure to make a photocopy of your entire scholarship application packet before mailing it.  Send the application packet by certified mail so you can track it.


You’ve finally finished all of your college applications and they are safely in the mail.  But guess what?  Your college application process still isn’t finished!  It is now time to begin the march towards obtaining financial aid to help pay for your college education.
If your parents are completely financing your college education, consider yourself to be one of the lucky ones!  But if you are like the majority of the college-going population, the financial aid process has only just begun.  Your journey will start with filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Everyone who is applying for financial aid has to fill out the FAFSA.  This form is available in your school’s Career Center, your counselor’s office or online. Although students can complete a paper FAFSA application, the FAFSA can be filled out online for faster processing. Use a paper FAFSA application first as a rough draft, then fill out the online form.
Your FAFSA will help you determine your financial need – based on a college’s cost and your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Types of Financial Aid
There are many different types of financial aid out there. Four of the most popular types of financial aid are:
  • Grants – Students do NOT have to repay grants. They are typically given for athletics, academics, special talent, need-based, etc.
  • Scholarships – Students also do NOT have to repay scholarships. Scholarships can be awarded for athletics, academic excellence or special talent.
  • Loans – These must be repaid.  There are two types of loans: federal loans and alternative loans.
  • College Work Study – Work study allows colleges to hire students for employment to pay their own way as they attend college.  You do not repay the money earned.
There are also two different types of student loans – federal and alternative loans.
  • Federal loans are guaranteed by the US government.
  • Alternative loans are guaranteed by private guarantee agencies.