Categories
Budgeting

Do College Marketing and Enrollment Services Really Improve a University’s Enrollment Numbers?

When many of us graduated from high school 20-25 years ago, universities would send campus reps to area high schools to recruit students. We would hear from student leaders, counselors and admission representatives regarding the many reasons why a particular school was the better choice for obtaining a degree. Times have changed and so have the methods used to entice students to attend certain universities. Many universities are now turning to college marketing and enrollment services to help them meet their enrollment goals.

Why the change? The answer is technology. While a personal testimony from the mouth of a currently enrolled student or alumni may carry some weight, companies who offer college marketing and enrollment services can reach a greater amount of potential students in a much shorter time. Through the use of technology, concentrated marketing and the Internet, these companies can help target specific student demographics and direct traffic to college websites more quickly than ever before. Ultimately, this equates to a savings of both time and money for the university who is seeking to expand its student base.

What kinds of solutions do college marketing and enrollment services offer their clients? Their job is to create marketing strategies that will garner attention from college bound students and parents. These marketing techniques will vary from college to college, depending on what type of student each individual university is attempting to attract. Quality college marketing and enrollment services will tailor their services to meet a school’s recruitment budget, and then employ a myriad of methods to promote the university, such as multi-media campaigns that include printed materials like brochures and magazines, interactive CDs/DVDs and online presentations. They may also generate leads by using e-mail marketing campaigns that target a specific clientele, like potential MBA candidates. Search engine marketing, which uses search engine optimization to drive internet users to college websites is a very important tool put in place by most of these services, since most college bound students are extremely computer savvy and do a great portion of their continuing education research via the internet.

Many college marketing and enrollment services work with universities by enhancing the school’s website to include interactive features such as blogs, social networking, virtual advisors, student web portals and group chat options. By providing a more complete website, colleges increase the number of serious inquiries for enrollment because potential students are having more fulfilling experiences looking for answers and information online. These types of online marketing campaigns free up valuable resources that would otherwise be spent on printing and postage. It also allows enrollment and recruiting staff the freedom to focus their efforts on areas such as highly specialized recruiting that may need to be more personal in nature.

Follow-up service is a crucial part of any campaign that college marketing and enrollment services should offer. Without lead management, reporting and web diagnostics, the marketing campaign would be incomplete and a waste of valuable resources. Universities need to be able to track results to determine which aspects of the campaign work and which parts need to be readdressed; so that every effort is being made in recruitment produces maximum results. By using technology to create proprietary systems, many college marketing and enrollment services are able to customize lead management and reporting programs to fit each school’s needs. This customized analysis of the school’s marketing campaign saves the university staff both time and money by identifying clear areas of success. That information is valuable when determining how to appropriate budgeting and staff as the recruitment efforts go forward.

With the recent lag in the economy, many state governments are faced with having to cut education budgets due to deficits. Many universities are looking at serious budget cuts and need to maximize the results of every recruitment dollar spent. Any university looking to increase it’s exposure and communication efforts with potential and returning students needs to seriously consider working with college marketing and enrollment services. These services will help universities project their unique environment, curriculum and programs to the largest possible audience, in the most cost-effective way, to ensure strong enrollment. Sounds like money well spent.

Categories
Budgeting

How To Study for College Classes

The Big Picture. College is full of unique experiences. For many, it’s the first time away from home and parents. There is nobody there to make you do anything so your first priority is to police yourself. Your teachers will not prod you to do your work. Their paycheck is not contingent upon whether you study for your classes. It’s all up to you.

The First Class. Your first classes will consist of introductions to your professors and course outlines detailing dates for lectures, homework assignments, papers and exams. It might seem juvenile, but you’ll need to have a calendar that incorporates what you need to do for each class every day. Don’t attempt to trust these important details to memory because you are setting yourself up for failure. Keep class materials in separate binders so that organization is optimal. Equally important is getting all of your professor’s contact information and office hours. If you need additional help with assignments, this information will be invaluable.

Don’t Skip Class. The most important step in determining how to study for college classes is to understand that you must actually go to class. It goes without saying that one of the highlights of college is that you don’t have to go to class if you don’t want to. Many professors don’t take attendance and those that do have a maximum number of classes a student can miss at the student’s discretion. When you don’t go to class you undermine your ultimate objective to get good grades. If you’re not in class, you can’t take notes, ask questions or participate in discussions. And here’s a clue for you: the class you skip almost always contains the information you need for an exam and it’s generally information you can’t get from the pages of your textbook. This is how professors tell who is in class and who isn’t without taking daily attendance.

Studying Is Your Job #1. Unfortunately, most students these days must have a part-time job too. Budgeting your time is very important. For every hour you spend in class each week you should spend two hours each week studying. If you’re taking a twelve credit hour class load each semester plan to spend 24 hours each week studying. When possible, it is better to study in a formal setting such as the library. Studying in your dorm room can lead to distractions. Formal settings are best when trying to study for college classes. If you can, plan study sessions with other students from your classes. There is focus in numbers!

Break Up Then Make Up with Facebook and Twitter. Once you have mastered how to study for college classes you’ll understand why this step is necessary. It is impossible to get good grades if you are giving your attention to these two. Don’t get too worried. Facebook and Twitter will still be there when you’re done with your studying and you’re getting good grades. You’ll appreciate your time with them all the more when you’ve gotten good grades on your assignments and exams.

Categories
Budgeting

Omaha Insurance Agent Says This Is a Money Talk You Should Have With Your College Age Student

OMAHA, Neb.-College students are packing their bags and getting ready to return home for the summer. For many, this past year was the first time they managed their own laundry, classes and curfew-and their own bank accounts-without their parents.

This continues as a time of transition for many young adults and their parents. They will need some help from you while they continue to grow into their new financial responsibilities and learn how to enjoy a lifetime of good money management.

Here are a few tips from Manley to help talk to your college-age students before they head back to campus next fall:

Help your student work on a budget. Budgeting goals and priorities change over time. If your child had a part-time job while he or she was in high school, the priority was probably to build a savings. A college student’s main priority is not likely to be savings, but rather to figure out how to make saved money last all semester or until summer. Parents can help a student itemize and prioritize all the things the student will have to purchase such as clothing and sundries, textbooks, the expenses of a car or cell phone.

Plan for mistakes, and let your student correct them. No matter how good the student’s budget is, mistakes are going to happen. Some of them are minor, such as when a student simply forgets to budget for working fewer hours at a part-time job during a week of exams or having to take an unpaid sick day. If that happens, a little help from mom or dad may be appropriate. But sometimes mistakes are major, the result of overspending and under-earning, and the student runs out of money before the end of first semester. In this case, as difficult as it may be, do not bail out your student. Help him find a way to fix the problem. If the student lives on campus and you paid for a meal plan, he is not going to starve. He might have to find a way to work a few more hours, or be sure to earn a few bucks during summer break.

Have THE TALK. More specifically, the talk about credit cards, and how many credit card companies entice students to open accounts. Show your student how long it will take to pay off even a small amount of debt (here’s a handy calculator ). Even a small balance of $3,000 can take as long as 10 years to pay off, and during that time the borrower would have paid more than $2,200 in interest alone. Student loans, car loans and eventually mortgages are often considered good debt. But credit cards in the hands of inexperienced users can be disastrous.

Let the student know you will be checking up. From time to time, check your student’s bank balance. Look at the expenditures and deposits, and make sure she is on-track to making his money over the summer. As time passes and the student gets better at handling money, you will be able to let her handle it without your help at all.

College is such an exciting time, and a time when young adults learn not just academic lessons, but also life lessons. They still need you to show them how to avoid making money mistakes, and how to fix the mistakes they make along the way.

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About the author: Through hard work, dedication and attending both passionately and professionally to the needs of clients, Manley and his small team at his Farmers Insurance agency in Omaha, Nebraska have grown the agency into the largest Farmers Insurance agency in the state. His agency also is the second largest for the entire Farmers Insurance region. Manley’s service to the community includes support of the Siena/Francis house, Restoration Exchange, Homeward Bound animal rescue, the Ronald McDonald House, and The Stephen Center.

Categories
Taxes

How a 529 Account Helps Make Saving For College Easy!

Saving for your child’s higher education is one of the most important investments you can make for their future. To make saving for college easier, the Qualified Tuition Program or the 529 plan was established. The 529 plan is a federal-income-tax-free savings plan to be used exclusively for qualified educational expenses.

Research shows that a college education can lead to increased income and better job prospects. Unfortunately, the rising cost of tuition has become a budgetary issue for many families. Tuition prices have jumped so much that if you want your child to graduate from college debt-free (or close to it) you better start saving now.

The benefit of subsidizing college with a 529 account are varied. Below are a few reasons worth considering:

College is expensive. The earlier you start saving, the more time you have for your savings to work for you. Even saving small amounts will eventually gain larger dividends down the road.

Cover more than tuition. A 529 account can be used to pay for all the costs associated with higher education, including textbooks, computers and other necessary materials.

Use towards technical education. In addition to tuition at public or private colleges, the 529 savings can be used towards trade schools. These types of educational institutions are becoming very popular mainly due to the increasing costs of traditional universities.

Tax benefits. The state of California offer tax-advantaged growth as well as a way to potentially shrink your taxable estate. While contributions to California’s plan are not deductible at the state or federal level, all investment growth is free from state and federal taxes, and the earnings portion of withdrawals for qualified education expenses are income tax free. Additionally, the California 529 plans allow individuals to contribute up to $15,000 per year per account without triggering any federal gift taxes or using any of your lifetime gift tax exclusion amount. The IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education”, explains how to calculate the taxable portion of distributions. (Please consult your tax advisor regarding potential tax benefits).

Lower student debt. A 529 savings account can help ease the burden of student loans and lower the amount that is borrowed.

Flexibility. There are two different types of 529 savings accounts. A 529 plan permits you to move money around to different accounts within the plan. Keep in mind that each plan has its own set of rules, so do your homework before making changes that could unfavorably affect your investment.

• Prepaid tuition plans – These plans allow for the pre-purchase of tuition with money to be disbursed when the student enters college. These prepaid tuition plans are usually managed by state organizations or by colleges and universities themselves. Most of the time, the funds in these types of plans cannot be used for room and board.

• Savings plans – Most of these plans invest in mutual funds, certificates of deposit and are dependent on the investment return of these assets.

With many financial institutions you can open a 529 savings account online in less than 5 minutes. To know what each state is offering and to compare and contrast plans, visit http://www.collegesavings.org or http://www.savingforcollege.com.

There are numerous advantages to investing in a 529 plan for your child’s advanced education. But, like with all savings plans, it’s best to start early while your student is a toddler to get the biggest benefit from your investment.

Categories
Insurance

Car Insurance Tips for College Students

College is a time of expanding your horizons and learning about how the world works. Unfortunately, that also means that it is a time of increasing expenses and greater responsibility. One of the responsibilities that you’ll encounter that can take a significant toll on your monthly expenses is car insurance. Many students consider the insurance carrier that they used while living at home to be sufficient for their auto insurance needs, but this may not be the case. Just because your parents’ insurance company worked well for them, perhaps even saved them money, doesn’t mean that the same will be true for you. In order to get the best bang for your buck, you’ll have to take the time to do some research, get quotes and make certain that you’re getting what you’re paying for.

Evaluating Current Coverage

Look closely at the car insurance coverage you currently carry and determine if it suits your needs. You might find that you’re paying for insurance that’s appropriate for a new car when in fact you drive an old car that doesn’t have as much value. Insurance companies aren’t going to tell you you’re overpaying. They’re just going to collect the checks. If your vehicle is five years old or older, check its current value at an online vehicle valuation service and compare that to your deductible. If the deductible is $1,000 or more, and the car is only worth $3,000, then it doesn’t make sense to carry full coverage that could cost $100 per month or more. You’ll end up paying more out of pocket for the insurance than the car is worth. You may want to consider reducing your coverage in such a case so that you’ll save some money every month.

Comparing Car Insurance

Occasionally, it’s a good idea to shop around for car insurance rates and see what sort of discounts or lower prices other companies might be offering. If you don’t shop your rates around, you’ll find in time that your insurance company will gradually raise your rates, only to occasionally drop them small amounts during major life milestones, such as turning 25 or getting married. The overall effect, though, is that your insurance rates will gradually increase. Meanwhile, competing insurance companies are all trying to earn your business, so their rates will be quoted lower. The Kanetix.ca auto insurance quotes comparison service is a popular free service.

Every two years, obtain quotes from at least three competing insurance companies, being certain to get quotes that reflect the same level of coverage. Before you move your insurance, though, take the quotes to your current insurance company and ask them if they can beat them. If not, then your best recourse is to switch insurance carriers.

Switching Insurance Carriers

The process of switching insurance carriers is simple during college. If you only carry auto insurance, the process is just that much easier. All you have to do is sign up with the new insurance company, and your new agent will request all the information from your current insurance company. You’ll have a few papers to sign and return in some cases, and then you’ll receive a check in the mail for any insurance from your current insurance company for which you have already paid.

Bundling Insurance

Insurance bundling isn’t just for parents and homeowners. College students can benefit from bundling their insurance products, as well. In the insurance industry, this is known as having multiple lines. It can include renter’s insurance, life insurance and just about any other insurance product you carry. Ask your insurance provider what discounts are available for having multiple lines, and you might just be surprised how much you can save.

Rather than avoiding insurance during college, make certain that your auto insurance is exactly what you need at the time. This way, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll have peace of mind to keep your attention on your studies, as well.

Categories
Student Loans

Paying for College: Student Loans or Credit Cards?

Research conducted by student loan company Sallie Mae shows that in 2010, about 5 percent of college students paid an average of more than $2,000 in tuition and other educational expenses using a credit card to avoid taking out student loans. The same study showed that 6 percent of parents used credit cards to pay an average of nearly $5,000 in educational expenses for their college children.

Is using credit cards a smart way to avoid college loan debt? Financial advisors are in near-universal agreement that the answer is no, but that isn’t stopping thousands of families from using credit cards in place of parent and student loans.

Some families might think that all debt is equal; others might think that they won’t qualify for college loans. So what advantages exactly do education loans offer over credit cards?

1) Availability

Particularly in the last few years, as credit card companies have tightened their credit requirements in a retraction of the lax lending that led to the foreclosure crisis, credit cards have become harder to qualify for, available mostly only to consumers with strong credit. Many consumers with weaker credit have had their credit lines reduced or eliminated altogether.

Federal college loans, on the other hand, are available with minimal to no credit requirements. Government-funded Perkins loans and Stafford loans are issued to students in their own name without a credit check and with no income, employment, or co-signer required.

Federal parent loans, known as PLUS loans, have no income requirements and require only that you be free of major adverse credit items – a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure, defaulted federal education loans, and delinquencies of 90 days or more.

In other words, don’t turn to credit cards simply because you think you won’t qualify for school loans. Chances are, these days, you’re more likely to qualify for a federal college loan than for a credit card.

2) Fixed Interest Rates

While most credit cards carry variable interest rates, federal student and parent loans are fixed-rate loans. With a fixed interest rate, you have the security of knowing that your student loan rate and monthly payments won’t go up even when general interest rates do.

Many credit cards will also penalize you for late or missed payments by raising your interest rate. Federal school loans keep the same rate regardless of your payment history.

3) Deferred Repayment

Repayment on both federal student loans and federal parent loans can be postponed until six months after the student leaves school (nine months for Perkins undergraduate loans).

With credit cards, however, the bill is due right away, and the interest rate on a credit card balance is generally much higher than the interest rate charged on federal school loans.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship, federal loans also offer additional payment deferment and forbearance options that can allow you to postpone making payments until you’re back on your feet.

Even most private student loans – non-federal education loans offered by banks, credit unions, and other private lenders – offer you the option to defer making payments until after graduation.

Keep in mind, however, that even while your payments are deferred, the interest on these private student loans, as well as on federal parent loans and on unsubsidized federal student loans, will continue to accrue.

If the prospect makes you nervous of having deferred college loan debt that’s slowly growing from accumulating interest charges, talk to your lender about in-school prepayment options that can allow you to pay off at least the interest each month on your school loans so your balances don’t get any larger while you’re still in school.

4) Income-Based Repayment Options

Once you do begin repaying your college loans, federal loans offer extended and income-based repayment options.

Extended repayment plans give you more time to repay, reducing the amount you have to pay each month. An income-based repayment plan scales down your monthly payments to a certain allowable percentage of your income so that your student loan payments aren’t eating up more of your budget than you can live on.

Credit cards don’t offer this kind of repayment flexibility, regardless of your employment, income, or financial situation. Your credit card will require a minimum monthly payment, and if you don’t have the resources to pay it, your credit card company can begin collection activities to try to recover the money you owe them.

5) Tax Benefits

Any interest you pay on your parent or student loan debt may be tax-deductible. (You’ll need to file a 1040A or 1040 instead of a 1040EZ in order to take the student loan interest deduction.)

In contrast, the interest on credit card purchases, even when a credit card is used for otherwise deductible educational expenses, can’t be deducted.

To verify your eligibility for any tax benefits on your college loans, consult with a tax advisor or refer to Publication 970 of the IRS, “Tax Benefits for Education,” available on the IRS website.

6) Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Whereas the only way to escape your current credit card debt is to have it written off in a bankruptcy, several loan forgiveness programs exist that provide partial or total student loan debt relief for eligible borrowers.

Typically, these loan forgiveness programs will pay off some or all of your undergraduate and graduate school loan debt in exchange for a commitment from you to work for a certain number of years in a high-demand or underserved area.

The federal government sponsors the Public Loan Forgiveness Program, which will write off any remaining federal education loan debt you have after you’ve worked for 10 years in a public-service job.

Other federal, state, and private loan forgiveness programs will pay off federal and private student loans for a variety of professionals – veterinarians, nurses, rural doctors, and public attorneys, among others.

Ask your employer and do a Web search for student loan forgiveness programs in your area of specialty.

Categories
Student Loans

Student Loans Help College Tuition Costs Rise

College tuition prices are rising every year – faster than almost any other expense including health-care and food. The bad news for students is that post-graduation salaries have been practically flat! In a free market economy, this might lead to students seeking cheaper educational alternatives and driving down the price of learning, but government support of the student loan industry will preserve the ability for students to acquire the debt for the more expensive choices. Thanks to these specific government policies, there is very little chance that tuition costs will be coming back down.

While most debt and credit markets seize up, the student loan industry is mostly guaranteed and insured by the federal government. Even though some companies have been leaving the student loan sector, the government is expanding its own direct loan program to ensure that the system of loans for college stays intact. If students were unable to find loans, schools would be forced to immediately cut costs and offer lower tuition rates to keep enrollment up.

Yet for some reason, lower costs seem strange to the American economist or consumer – we often demand the best, we demand the most, and somehow we still act surprised when we can't afford to pay the bill for that dream product we just custom -ordered. That lack of money is never seen as a problem – as long as it is easy for the consumer to acquire loans. Everything that made the housing bubble a nightmare is still playing out in higher educational financial statements …

As long as those easy loans are available, colleges have little incentive to cut costs in outside-the-classroom activities like social programming, semi-competitive sports teams, and lavish furnishings. If there were no government safety nets, students could still find loans if the lender felt that the student would actually be able to pay it back after graduation. This means more students and student lenders would choose local and cost-effective schools. Competition for funding would even ensure that the smartest and hardest working students get enrolled first.

Ideally, everyone who wants to go to college should be able to – and to some extent the student loan programs have helped to provide that opportunity. Unfortunately, it is showing signs of an unintended consequence that would quickly undo that benefit and make college ultimately unaffordable for a large part of the population.

Categories
Student Loans

Death to Debt: College Student Edition

It is no mystery that one of the largest issues facing college students of today is the rising cost to tuition, which often translates into high student loan debt. Coupled with a tough job market, many students are struggling to make ends meet. This leads to a high level of stress and instability in these young people lives. This article contains several tips that college students can use to remedy this potentially devastating series of events.

1. Be honest with yourself. Should you take out $ 250,000 in student loan debt to graduate with a degree where the average entry level job pays $ 30,000? The simple answer is: no. However, many students do just this every single year. It is important to be realistic about how much school costs vs. how much you can expect to make once you graduate.

2. Study hard. If you must graduate with student loan debt, increase the chances of getting a job by making the most of your education. In addition to making good grades, do internships whenever possible and make yourself an overall well rounded person through participation in a wide variety of extracurricular activities.

3. Go to a lower cost institution. Do you really need to go to a $ 45,000 a year school when a local state school that costs $ 12,000 will suffice? Just think of all of the money that you could save. Rather than trying to save money while going to that expensive private or out of state school, simply choose a less expensive school and then live like a king. You'll still come out ahead!

4. Budget. Yes, it is fun to go out on the weekends with your friends, but it is necessary? Be smart with your money throughout college, especially if you are living on money from student loans. Just think how much that drink will really cost you with interest added in. Still have fun while in school, but look for free community activities and concerts to participate in or even school sponsored events.

5. Rent your textbooks. One of the most expensive items required for school are textbooks. Rather than buying a new set every semester, rent the ones that you do not think you'll use again. There isn't any need to buy them new and then resell them 3 months later for pennies on the dollar. It is possible to save up to 80% off the cost of buying new by renting.

6. Make money! Just because you are in school, that doesn't mean you can't bring in income. There are many things that you can do to make a little extra money during this time of your life, such as selling unwanted clothing or electronic items on eBay. Also, you can work a part time job or market any special skills that you might have, such as marketing or website design. It is possible to significantly offset the cost of your education through bringing in small sums of money throughout your college experience.

Categories
Taxes

College Expenses Can Cut Your Taxes If You Know And Follow The Rules

With college costs rising faster than inflation and financial aid shrinking, it is now more important to take full advantage of the income tax breaks that are allowed for families of college students. Whether it is a child or yourself, there are many different income tax strategies that can help defray some of the education costs by refunding income tax dollars.

There are several sources of education deductions and credits that you may be able to use to let the IRS help you pay for your college education. Here is a brief listing of the main choices and they are ranked from the most effective to the least effective based on potential savings.

1. American Opportunity Tax Credit: Credits are always the best savings because they reduce your actual income tax on a dollar for dollar basis. The American Opportunity credit allows for up to a $ 2,500 savings and allows up to $ 1,000 to be refundable even if you do not owe income tax.

2. Lifetime Learning Credit: The Lifetime Learning credit is next in line, and could actually allow you to receive more tax credits over a longer period of time. Just remember that you can only use one credit program per year for each student that you have in college.

3. Tuition and Fees Tax Deduction: This is not a credit, but a deduction from your taxable income for tuition and fees that you incur up to a maximum per year. A tax deduction will save you an amount that is equal to your deduction multiplied by your applicable income tax rate. As an example, if you have a $ 1,000 tuition deduction and are in a 28% tax bracket, you will save $ 280 in income taxes. If you cannot qualify for credits because of income limitations, you probably can use this deduction.

4. Student Loan Interest Deduction: With the average college graduate taking on $ 24,000 in student loans, loan interest can be a substantial expense. Now there is a direct way for students and graduates to take a student loan interest deduction without having to itemize their deductions. This direct deduction is similar to the tuition and fees deduction because it reduces taxable income and your savings are based on your income tax rate.

5. Work Related Education Expense Deduction: This deduction can be taken if you do not qualify for any of the others and meet certain IRS guidelines. If you are required to take continuing education or have elected to take some courses to help you advance your career in the same field, you may be able to deduct these expenses as part of your itemized deductions on Schedule A. They are reported under the miscellaneous deduction category and are subject to a two percent of Adjusted Gross income (AGI) offset before you get any actual savings.

Summary: It is growing more important for families and individuals today to take advantage of all the saving opportunities that are available for education. Unfortunately many do not. As the price of a college education continues to escalate, family finances can be severely stretched. Make sure that your tax adviser is aware of what you are paying for education and uses every possible strategy you can. Your wealth and retirement may depend on it.

To discover additional financial and income tax strategies, check out my blog or download your FREE Wealth Expansion Kit by clicking here . The first step to creating wealth is knowing where you are and then charting a path that will enhance your financial strengths and correct your weaknesses.

Categories
Student Loans

Guaranteed College Scholarships

It’s that time of year again, time to start looking for money to pay for the next school year. Financial aid comes in many forms, from the obvious choices such as loans that have to be paid back to those that do not have to be paid back such as grants and scholarships. While most students are aware of the college scholarship process, many are not aware that many schools offer guaranteed college scholarships.

The scholarships that most students think of when they think of college scholarships are those that generally require that you not only meet certain criteria, but that you also go through a lengthy application process which might include an essay, portfolio or some other competition in order to receive the scholarship. The process can be quite daunting, but worth the effort if you are able to get a significant amount of free money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back. However, most students are not aware that many schools give out guaranteed college scholarships without having to file an application or compete for the scholarship.

Guaranteed college scholarships are simply that, they are guaranteed as long as you apply to the university or college, get accepted and enroll. There is no application process except including all the necessary information when you apply to the college. The criteria for receiving a guaranteed college scholarship is usually by association to a specific group, minority status or scholarship status including your GPA, SAT or ACT scores and high school standing. In many cases the guaranteed scholarships are renewable if you adhere to the criteria for renewal such as a minimum GPA. Also, even if you are eligible for more than one guaranteed scholarship at a given school, you will most likely only be given the highest amount you are eligible to receive. Check with the financial aid office of your schools of choice to see if they offer guaranteed scholarships.

In addition to applying to your colleges or universities of choice, remember to apply for financial aid even if you don’t think you might be eligible for financial aid. This is generally a requirement for most schools in order to get aid of any type.