Rhode Island Monthly Higher Learning 2014 : Page 6

their home state. There are no income requirements to partici-pate in the program, but students should designate the NEBHE RSP option on their application. If they are accepted under an approved major at participating institutions, they will receive the tuition break. Students who are already enrolled at a participat-ing institution and who designate an appropriate major after matriculating may also be eligible. Rhode Islanders can choose from dozens of options including architecture at UMASS Amherst, hospitality management at UNH, Russian or Latin at UVM, marine sciences at UCONN, sustainable agriculture at UMaine or animation at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The average RSP undergrad saved $7,000 last year. The Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority provides access to a student grant of up to $750 per year and a College Bound Fund Matching Grant Program of up to $1,000 per year for qualified students and families. For deadlines and application details, visit riheaa.org. In addition, the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority — a nonprofit state program — offers the Rhode Island Family Education Loan. The loan features a fixed rate based on your chosen repayment schedule, rather than credit, and borrowing limits range between $1,500 and $35,000. For eligibility and details, visit risla.com. State FundS ships specific to Rhode Island residents, the largest source of money comes from the Rhode Island Foundation, which administers more than 100 college scholarship funds. Although some are specific to a particular town, high school or ethnicity, others are broad in nature. For instance, the Sgt. Cornell Young Jr. Scholarship is for students who have overcome an obstacle in life, and the Patty and Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholar-ship targets students whose parents did not attend college. For other scholarships that are available nationally, Fastweb (fastweb.com) and Cappex (cappex.com) are great resources. Keep in mind that most scholarship applications require an essay and documentation of your grades, test scores or need. Once you have gotten the money, you must report it to the college where you will matriculate. In some cases, your financial aid package may be reduced. Check with the financial aid office at your college to see how it handles outside scholarships. From Dunkin’ Donuts to Nordstrom, many companies and family foundations provide scholarships that usually range between $500 and $2,000 per year. However, private scholarships are less plentiful and harder to obtain than some sources lead you to believe. The first challenge is finding the programs that apply to you. You should never pay a private agency or individual to find you scholarship money as most are unscrupulous. For scholar-Private ScholarShiPS Sticker price is the annual cost of a college before scholarships, grants, loans, work study and other forms of aid have been factored in. Many Rhode Island students tend to focus on colleges in the Northeast where sticker prices are high. If you are willing to think outside the region and venture a little farther away, you can find some affordable top notch colleges. At about $37,000 a year (total cost) for out-of-state students, the University of Wisconsin (in the fabulous city of Madison) is ranked nine-teenth in the world among public universities. If a warmer climate entices you, there are a plethora of low-cost options at public universities in the south. From Virginia Tech to the College of Charleston, good buys abound in the $35,000 range for out-of-state students. For those students willing to go north of the border, Canadian universities are a true bargain. McGill will cost you as little as $31,000 a year for tuition, room and low Sticker Price oPtionS 6 RHODE ISL AND MONTHLY I higher le arning I 2014

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