A college education is a substantial investment in your future, but you can help avoid sticker shock by doing your research and following a few simple steps to maximize your financial resources.
Complete the School Affordability Analyzer before you start your college search to help you determine your budget for college. Don't forget indirect costs when calculating costs for a full year. This website also has some valuable links to scholarship searches.
Attend financial aid nights and free workshops on paying for college as early as your freshman year in high school. The more you attend, the more you know.
Research private scholarships for which you might qualify before you even pick a college. There are a wide variety of internet resources that can point you in the right direction. In almost all cases, your private scholarship awards will not affect your financial aid from Culver-Stockton. Check out these helpful links. Research early and often throughout your high school career.
Talk to your high school counselor often about local scholarships. Early in your high school career, consider joining local organizations that offer scholarships.
Check out federal and state funding programs early to determine eligibility. Missouri has a Bright Flight Scholarship and Access Missouri Award, for example, that can be used at Culver-Stockton College. Prepare excellent scholarship essays by following directions and meeting deadlines. Grammar and spelling count.
Adhere to every deadline. Keep a list of application due dates as well as a list of required application materials for every scholarship. Then, meet those deadlines or you will miss out on funding opportunities. Many of those deadlines fall between March 1 and 31 each year.
Take your ACT early and retake it if necessary to get the highest score possible and increase your eligibility for most merit scholarships.
Score well on CLEP and AP tests. When these courses apply to college credit, they can reduce how long you are paying college tuition.
Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Culver-Stockton's priority deadline for maximum funding consideration is March 1. Be sure to meet that deadline and enter C-SC's code (002460) to get your information to us so we can put together your financial aid package.
Check out federal and state funding programs early to determine your eligibility. Missouri has a Bright Flight program, for example, that can be used at Culver-Stockton. We also participate in the Midwest Student Exchange Program, and students from several states surrounding Missouri can receive a 10 percent deduction on tuition.
Ask family members and friends to help as soon as you decide you're going to college. Most states have an Independent 529 program that allows individuals to save money pre-taxes for designated students who plan to attend private colleges. Your parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends can set aside money now to help you afford a private college.
Get a job during high school and save. Working to help save for college is an excellent source of funds and looks great on a scholarship application.
Consider military service to help finance college. The National Guard and other services offer such packages.
Consider PLUS or private loans. If the financial aid package is not enough to cover your costs, many parents apply for the PLUS loan. In some cases, families will turn to private lenders for alternative loans to make up the difference between the financial aid package and the balance due.
Find out your payment options. Culver-Stockton can help set up a tuition payment plan for a $65 fee that would allow you to break up your tuition into 10 monthly payments. Payments also can be put on a credit card.
Take advantage of tax relief programs like HOPE Scholarship and Lifetime Learning credits. Check with your tax accountant about educational tax-break opportunities.