Search For Scholarships and Grants
Grants and scholarships can help you pay for school and, unlike loans; you don’t need to pay the money back. What types of scholarships a school offers is another important factor in deciding whether a school is right for you. The good news is there are a lot of grants and scholarships available for many different focus areas; such as academic achievement (“merit”), sports and athletics, or for students who are unable to afford college. In other words, you have to find the right one for you.
Give yourself plenty of time to research all of your possibilities. Your best option is to begin by researching local organizations that offer scholarships as they tend to award to local students who have ties to their community. Some of these may be for smaller amounts of money or there may not be as many to choose from, but it is a great place to start! You can find out more about these opportunities from your high school guidance counselor, library, or organizations that are in your community.
Check out this video giving you some great tips on where to start when looking for financial aid.
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Maybe the only thing better than getting a grant or scholarship is not needing one in the first place! If you are a client of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), you may be eligible to have your TUITION COSTS WAIVED to community colleges and state-colleges and universities in Massachusetts if your employment goal requires higher education. Contact your local MRC office today to find out more and to apply for services.
Scholarships are generally merit based but can also be based on other criteria. They are typically offered by non-profit organizations although many private sources also offer them. In addition to merit they can also be for members of specific groups, such as minority groups. There are even scholarships specifically for people with experience living with a mental health condition.
The Baer Reintegration Scholarship Application for the 2017-2018 academic year is now available. Click here to download and print the application.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness also has a list of mental health and disability scholarships. When you search for a scholarship make sure you include criteria that may be specific to your experience.
There are a number of sites where you can search for scholarships. Here are some that ReachHire recommends:
Grants are generally based on your financial need. There are both federal and local grants that you may be eligible for. There are a lot of options, this is a good place to start your search.
The Federal Pell Grant program is the most well-known grant program for students. You can find other options for Massachusetts grants as well. Many colleges and universities offer their own grant programs; check with the schools you are applying to about what grants they offer.
When you find grants and scholarships you’re interested in
- Make sure they are a good fit. Confirm that you qualify; call and verify or review your application with your guidance counselor.
- Meet the deadlines! Mark your calendar with the deadline for each application and give yourself plenty of time to complete the paper work.
- Make sure you have the forms you need. Make a list of all the forms and paperwork that you will need for each application. Federal programs and many states and colleges use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Go to the FAFSA website to access the FAFSA form.
- Avoid scholarship scams. If you have to pay an application fee for a scholarship, it is most likely a scam. Read about other scholarship scams to watch out for.
For additional information around searching for and applying for grants and scholarships, click here.