Students in Wyoming enjoy a lower average cost of college than students elsewhere in U.S. The average price of tuition, at $3,720 per year for in-state students, is 46 percent more affordable than the national average, according to College Calc. That said, many students still need to find additional sources of funding to pay for their post-secondary education.
Funding can come in the form of student loans, scholarships, and grants. While there are many nationwide financial resources available for Wyoming students, there are also many state, municipal, or school-based financial resources open as well. It’s worth speaking with your school’s financial aid office to find out about what options are available.
Getting Financial Aid for College
Students should follow a few basic guidelines when seeking financial aid to pay for college or university in Wyoming. First, free money such as scholarships and grants is always better than student loans. Finding appropriate scholarships and grants should be your priority before exploring the student loan market.
Secondly, all students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is a one-stop-shop application for all federally available funds, covering scholarships, grants, and loans. Federal student aid comes with preferential interest rates, deferment options, and protections.
Thirdly, the last option for financial aid is to explore private student loans. Private student loans don’t come with the same level of protection as federal student loans do and they often have much higher interest rates. Shop around and make sure you read the fine print before signing on.
Wyoming Student Loans
The majority of students today require one or more student loans to access post-secondary education. Students attending a Wyoming university or college face financial burdens as well. According to our student loan debt statistics, 47 percent of students in Wyoming carry debt, which averages around $22,524. If you’ve already exhausted applying for scholarships and grants, and applied for the FAFSA, it may be time to consider your options from private student loan companies.
UniWyo Federal Credit Union Student Loan
UniWyo offers three financing options for Wyoming students including an undergraduate student loan, a graduate business student loan, and a refinancing option. All loans come with no origination fees, flexible repayment terms of 20 or 25 years, and low interest rates, although interest rates vary depending on your specific financial history. Undergraduates are eligible to receive up to $75,000 and graduates are eligible for up to $100,000. Both products are technically lines of credit, meaning the student receives one lump sum, which they can take multiple withdrawals from throughout their degree programs.
Whitney Benefits Student Loans
Whitney Benefits is not a conventional lender, but instead is an educational that offers student loans to graduates of Sheridan and Johnson County High Schools who have a cumulative 2.5 GPA. Maximum allowable loan varies depending on the program, for example, $24,000 for vocational students and $40,000 for graduate students.
The benefit of student loans from the Whitney Benefits foundation is these loans are interest-free, provided they do not go into default. This student loan is more restrictive in terms and eligibility than other more conventional student loans, therefore its best to review the full details through their website.
Even before you seek out student loans to finance your Wyoming state education, you should initially look for free money in the form of scholarships and grants. Wyoming state has many state-funded scholarships, as well as scholarships funded through local or municipal organizations. Here are a few to get you started.
The Hathaway Scholarship is designed for in-state residents attending the University of Wyoming or a Wyoming State community college. There are a number of different levels of awards (honors, performance, provisional and opportunity levels), each with varying degrees of funding ranging from $840 to $1,680 per semester. The award is open to Wyoming High School graduates, enrolled in a minimum of two semesters per year.
Wyoming Scholars Award
The Wyoming Scholars Award is open to first-time students seeking a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wyoming. It is issued after program application and follow up documents are received by the school’s admissions department. Both high school graduates and homeschool graduates are eligible and the award is a one-time payment of $1,000. Deadline for enrollment is mid-May every year.
Troy Yost Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to Wyoming state residents who have graduated from a state high school and are attending either the University of Wyoming or another state college. Students must demonstrate financial need, with a letter of recommendation from the student’s art teacher for the Troy Yost Memorial Scholarship. The award is for a one-time payout of $1,000, and the annual deadline is Feb. 15.
Wyoming Grants for College
Grants open to students attending in-state post education institutions are like scholarships in the sense that they provide free money to students who demonstrate merit or financial need. Speak with your school’s financial aid office to find out more information about grants that apply to your situation.
The Paul Stock Grant-in-Aid
Available to currently enrolled students at the University of Wyoming in the College of Arts and Sciences programs, the Paul Stock Grant-in-Aid is meant to assist students traveling to present research at a conference or professional meeting. The award is for a total of $500 and the deadlines occur twice a year, on November 15 and March 15. Students need to submit an itemized budget for their travel expenses and are not eligible if they have already received the grant in the past.
Dick and Lynne Cheney Study-Abroad Grants
The Dick and Lynne Cheney Study-Abroad Grant is open to students enrolled at the University of Wyoming who are seeking to study abroad to advance their studies in their chosen fields. The grant is meant to help cover the costs associated with the travel, tuition, and education fees at the school. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, and have completed 30 hours of coursework for undergraduates or nine hours for graduate studies. Deadline for application is October 15 and the amount awarded varies.
Elks National Foundation Emergency Educational Grant
This grant is open to state and non-state residents who are children of an Elk organization member who is deceased or totally disabled. It is available for up to $4,000 and is for those who demonstrate financial need, are unmarried, and under the age of 24. Students are eligible when enrolled in an undergraduate program at any U.S. college or university full-time. The deadlines for application are May 1, and October 31. More information is available through the Elks website.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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