Do you ever think about going to college, but you simply can’t afford it? Or maybe you have a child who wants to go to college, but money is tight and you just can’t unclench the grasp on your pennies to help pay.
Since money is tight all around and many families are forgoing a college education because of it, a new scholarship in California may be the answer for those living in the area.
The Middle Class Scholarship went into effect during the 2014 and 2015 school year and is designed to help cut the costs of college. The scholarship is in effect for students who attend the California State University or University of California.
How Many Scholarships Are Available?
If you have ever tried to apply for a scholarship before, you know there is a lot of competition and you are lucky if you are chosen to move on to the next round.
Since the scholarship is only limited to the two schools, competition is not as high since you are not competing with everyone in the United States.
The first year the scholarship rolled out, it was available for up to 40 percent of tuition and associated fees for families who made $100,000 or less per year. For families making more, 10 percent was available for families with an income of $150,000 or less per year.
So, what does this mean for students?
It actually means a lot of savings. For instance, a student from a middle class family can attend the University of California at a tuition rate of $7,279 as opposed to the traditional $12,132.
Students who receive the scholarship and attend the California State University are expected to pay roughly $3,283 for their tuition.
Why the Scholarship Now?
Many people wonder why the scholarship is rolling out now, when college tuition has always been high. The reason is because the numbers are shocking. For instance, almost half of the jobs that were created in the local area over the course of five years only had a wage of $13.33 per hour. Families are unable to live on this wage, especially single income families.
Although wages do not go up, the price of tuition continues to climb at a steady rate, which means students are just not able to afford to go to school. There does not seem to be a lot of relief for families when it comes to schooling and sometimes, financial aid does not even cover all of the costs meaning that families who cannot afford books and supplies cannot go to school.
The Middle Class Scholarship was signed in as a law in 2013 and it is expected to rise in price each academic year, which will provide more families with an opportunity to step foot into the college to get the education they need.
How the Scholarship is Awarded
Students will automatically be notified if they receive the scholarship. To apply, students will need to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
If you are looking for scholarships to help pay for college, there are many out there. Some of them are based on financial need while others are based on academic performance. You can apply to as many scholarships as you want and you can use them throughout the school year.
One of the best things about a scholarship is that you do not have to pay it back and you are able to use it to fund your education.
If you still need help paying for college, the Pell Grant is another program that offers aid to those who qualify financially. The award money does not have to be paid back and is awarded each semester to students.
Remember to explore all of your options and exhaust all scholarships opportunities before applying for a federal or private loan.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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