Rhode Island Monthly College Guide 2012 : Page 8

Footing the Bill continued from page 5 scholarship funds from foundations and private donors. Although some are very high school-specific, others are broad in nature like the Sgt. Cornell Young, Jr. Scholarship for students who have overcome an obstacle in life or the Patty and Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship, which targets students whose parents did not attend college. For other scholarships that are available nationally, a good free search engine is Fastweb ( fastweb.com ). Keep in mind that you will need to track all the various deadlines and requirements for each scholarship that interests you. Most require an essay and documentation of your grades, test scores or need. Then, 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 by the amount of the award. Check with the financial aid office at your college to see how it handles outside scholarships. Parents and students can also access a variety of college loans through Sallie Mae, local and national banks. You should never pay a private agency or individual to find you scholarship money as most are unscrupulous. Creative, Low Cost College Options many rhode island students tend to focus on colleges in the Northeast, and while there are a few bargains left, most colleges in this area of the country are expensive. If you are willing to think a little farther away, there are affordable, top notch colleges to be found outside this region. At about $37,000 a year (total cost) for out-of-state students, the University of Wisconsin is a very elite public university. It is located in the city of Madison, which is almost always named a top ten college town. Heading further west to Seattle, the University of Washington comes in around $38,000 per year. If a warmer climate entices you, the College of Charleston in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina costs $37,000 per year for out-of-staters. Then, for those students with serious wanderlust, Scottish universities are a true bargain. St. Andrew’s (famous for educating Prince William and the Middleton sisters) will cost you just $33,000 a year for tuition, room and board. rather than credit and borrowing limits range from $1,500 to $35,000. For eligibility and details, visit risla.com . One of the most underutilized and biggest dollar programs is the New England Board of Higher Education Regional Student Program which allows New England residents to attend a public university in another New England state at a deep discount if they are pursuing a major not offered in their home state. There are no income requirements to participate in the program. Students must simply apply and be accepted to an approved major at a participat-ing institution. Rhode Islanders can choose from dozens of options including architecture at UMASS Amherst, hospitality manage-ment at UNH, Russian or Latin at UVM, marine sciences at UCONN, sustainable agriculture at UMaine or animation at the Massachu-setts College of Art and Design. The average RSP undergrad saved $7,000 last year. Freebies believe it or not, there are a few higher education options that are free. The super elite Cooper Union in New York is free and has programs in art, architecture and engineering. The small and selective Webb Institute in New York has only one major — naval architecture and marine engineering — but it is also free. The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia is a world renowned music con-servatory and charges nothing for tuition. Farther south in Ken-tucky, students at Berea College work ten to fifteen hours per week on campus instead of paying tuition, but students must have finan-cial need to attend. There are also five elite military academies that train young men and women for the armed services. These charge nothing for tu-ition, room or board. In fact, you get paid to attend most of them. However, you accept a commission in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or U.S. Naval Reserves and serve for five years after you graduate. » Private Scholarships from the rotary club to your employer and a host of various foundations, private scholarship money is plentiful. However, there are a few obstacles. The first is finding the programs, but rischolarships.com is a good place to start looking. Rischolarships. com is a free local scholarship search site hosted by the College Planning Center of Rhode Island. For scholarships specific to Rhode Island residents, the largest source of funds is The Rhode Island Foundation, which administers more than 100 college 6 RHODE ISL AND MONTHLY I COLLEGE GUIDE 2012

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