Keys to Success...Your Future is Bright!
Start College off Right with Scholarships, Grants and other Free Money First!
While the financial process may seem daunting, planning carefully and researching all of your options can save you thousands! Begin your search for college cash with scholarships and grants, which cost you nothing and do not have to be repaid. Its important to keep in mind, if you are awarded a grant or scholarship, the college will deduct that amount from the financial aid it would otherwise have given you.
When it comes to paying for college, it's always best to:
- Maximize FREE money first;
- Utilize CHEAP money;
- Fill the GAP responsibly.
Before applying for a private student loan, make sure you have thoroughly exhausted all sources of free and low-cost financial aid.
FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aids; your gateway to federal student loans.You must complete this form to receive federal, state, or college money. Certain scholarships and grants require it, as well. The FAFSA asks basic information regarding the borrower’s income, dependency status, and savings to determine financial need. It is important to complete this form as early as possible. For more information on the FAFSA, visit fafsa.ed.gov.
Scholarships and grants - There are numerous local and national scholarships available to students. Do your homework and apply for as many as possible. Visit any of these scholarship search engines to get started, or talk to your guidance counselor or financial aid office for additional resources.
- Dept. of Labor - Free Scholarship Search Wizard
- Federal Student Aid Website
The best solution is always to get the most "free money" first. Here are some quick tips for finding free money:
- Apply early, apply often - Apply for every scholarship and grant you can find, even if it may not seem like a perfect fit for your major or field of study. If you don't apply, you can't get it. You may not get everything you apply for, but getting your name out there is the only way to get ahead.
- Search local - Many local companies are looking for talented local students to assist. It gives them a good connection with you and the community; and, ultimately, gives you the free money you need. Start by calling reputable local businesses and ask them if they have a scholarship program in place.
- Look for work study programs - These programs can be hard to come by since most of them are need-based, but apply yourself early and get your name in the running for these positions; and you'll have an even greater chance at accessing money that doesn't have to be paid back.
This information is provided courtesy of The Credit Union Student Choice Program. Student Choice was created with one goal in mind - helping you finance a higher education without a higher price tag. Unlike other alternative loan products, Mid-Minnesota’s Student Choice private loan solution offers zero origination fees, lower interest rates and flexible repayment options.
For more tools and resources, or to apply, visit mmfcu.studentchoice.org.
MMFCU Services and Solutions:
Student Choice Private Lending
Mid-Minnesota is excited to introduce an alternative student loan program that helps students fill the funding gaps that federal aid can leave behind. Learn More >
Teen Club & Simply Free Checking
At Mid-Minnesota, we don’t believe in hidden fees or service charges for becoming an adult. Our Simply Free Checking is just that – simple, and free! There’s no minimum balance, no monthly service charge; and we offer overdraft protection, a free box of checks each year, 24-hour access to your account online or by phone, and a free Visa Debit Card for electronic transactions. Learn More >
No-Surcharge ATM Service
Use your MMFCU Debit or ATM Card on MMFCU-owned ATMs and never be charged a fee from your credit union! Plus, MMFCU is proud to offer member access from HUNDREDS of machines throughout central Minnesota, and over 15,000 units across the country! MMFCU's ATM program includes unlimited, free transactions whenever you use the CO-OP Network. Learn More >
Visa $500 Limited Balance Credit Card*
Start building your credit responsibly. Learn More >
A newsletter written by teens for teens, addressing the financial issues young adults are facing. You can check out our latest issue right here online!
- How much should I save for college?
- How long until I reach my savings goal?
- How long will it take to become a millionaire?
*Any applicant under the age of 18 must have a parent/legal guardian as a joint cardholder or cosigner. Subject to credit approval.